An illegal rave organiser has been banned from Exmoor National Park in Devon, UK, after local police and residents decided to take action in an attempt to put an end free parties in the area.
Summer 2022 saw a rise in clandestine events on Exmoor, spurring Avon & Somerset Constabulary and landowner Forestry England to look at measures to reverse this trend, with input from residents. A solution was found in Community Protection Warnings (CPWs), which are designed to stop any person aged 16 and over from committing antisocial behaviour at the detriment of the community overall.
Already one rave promoter has been issued with a CPW, effectively preventing them from setting foot on Exmoor — one of England's national parks - for the next 12 months. This was in response to two events held on 25th June and 2nd July 2022.
If this is breached, the next stage of escalation is a Community Protection Notice, with failure to comply at that point potentially leading to arrest and policy custody. In addition to the organiser, a number of attendees were also given cautions in writing. Evidence provided by one resident, Jennifer Duke, was invaluable in the investigation, according to local news site SomersetLive.
"Issuing the Community Protection Warning with the support of our Antisocial Behaviour Team is a great success, made possible by our collaborative response to these illegal events. Jennifer and local residents like her are our essential eyes and ears to provide evidence after events and – ideally – intelligence before they happen so we can stop them before they start," said Sergeant Max Priestley.
"As a rural land manager, we are left with the fallout from illegal music events far too often. They cause misery for our neighbours, and immeasurable harm to wildlife and forest habitats," added John Ebsary, a forester at Forestry England.
Earlier this year, a man on a solo camping trip on the Yorkshire Moors has revealed how he had an "unbelievable weekend" after accidentally joining an illegal rave. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the biggest and the most infamous illegal rave that ever took place: Castlemorton – a week-long, 20,000-person party deemed so anarchistic that it shook Middle England to its core. In a recent DJ Mag feature, photographer Alan Lodge told his story of capturing a week changed UK dance music forever