Multiple arrests after thousands gather at illegal rave in West Sussex

Thousands of people gathered at an illegal rave on farmland in West Sussex overnight, breaching Covid guidelines.

Sussex police said the unlicensed rave had taken place in a remote field forcing multiple road closures in the rural town of Steyning. At least 23 people have been arrested on suspicion of offences including drink and drug-driving, possession of drugs and theft, and have been taken into custody, the force said.

Officers warned others not to attend the event as videos posted on social media showed crowds gathered throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

Ch Supt Nick May said: “Our priority is ensuring the safety of the community and everyone in the vicinity.

“We have a significant number of officers at the scene working to bring the event to a safe and timely conclusion. This is an ongoing matter and we thank the public for their patience and cooperation at this time.”

Under current coronavirus rules, gatherings must not exceed 30 people unless covered by a legal exemption.

A police spokesman warned anybody still planning to travel to the site that “officers will be taking action against them”.

In south London a murder investigation has been launched after a man was stabbed to death at another illegal rave.

Emergency services attended an “unlicensed music event” in Stockholm Road, South Bermondsey, after being called to reports of a stabbing shortly before midnight on Saturday 26 June.

A man who had suffered stab injuries died at the scene – an industrial unit near the Millwall Football Club grounds.

Another teenager was also found at the scene suffering head injuries. The 16-year-old, who has been arrested in connection with the incident, was taken to hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A Metropolitan police spokesperson urged witnesses to come forward.

“Detectives are urging anyone who had attended a music event in South Bermondsey on Saturday night to get in touch after a male was fatally stabbed.

“Officers attended along with London ambulance service. They found an unidentified male suffering stab injuries and, despite the efforts of emergency services, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the victim’s identity and contact his family. A postmortem examination will be arranged in due course,” they said.

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