West Yorkshire Police shut down an illegal rave of roughly 200 people at the Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve in Leeds on Monday night.
Visitors reportedly waded through the River Aire shortly after 7pm on Monday night. Police were called to the scene and three arrests were made as a sound system and DJ equipment was confiscated.
Superintendent Chris Bowen of West Yorkshire Police said in a statement: “We would urge people to consider their own safety and the safety of others, particularly during the warmer weather and the ongoing period of lockdown.
“We will continue to work alongside our partners to engage, explain and encourage in a way that will influence people’s behaviours, using enforcement only in the circumstances that we have to.”
In a Facebook post, local group Kirkstall Valley Flytip Trolleys Litter Antisocial Behaviour shared photos of the aftermath of the gathering, as well as writing: “People have a full blown amped up music rave on the nature reserve last night from approx 9pm.”
“We are DISGUSTED with the LITTLE RESPECT people show for wildlife thinking only of themselves and where they can get the next high from… No one is innocent here, if you started this rave or attended you ALL know it was on a NATURE RESERVE as your map and informant would have told you! And you STILL WENT TO ADD TO THE DAMAGE.”
It’s not the first such gathering that has been shut down in recent weeks in the UK. Last weekend, Kent Police shut down a rave on a Botany Bay beach as crowds gathered for the bank holiday, ignoring lockdown rules. Earlier this month, an illegal rave was shut down by West Mercia Police in Telford, Shropshire.