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Policing review call after illegal rave
A police chief has called for a review of how an illegal rave was policed over the weekend.
A total of 2,000 revellers partied for more than 24 hours on an area of national park land near Devil’s Dyke.
Police were criticised for not closing the huge rave down in the early hours of Sunday morning.
She said: “I was aware that local residents took to social media at the weekend to voice their concerns over an illegal rave.
“As PCC it is my role to listen to Sussex residents and hold the chief constable to account on their behalf and also to make sure they are getting the reassurance they need from their police force.
“This is why I have asked Sussex Police to carry out an internal review on how the rave at the weekend was policed and how locals were kept informed.”
Sussex Police, which had no intelligence to suggest the event was going to take place, has backed its response to the rave.
A spokesman said: “The decision not to seek to close the event was an operational judgment taken by supervising officers on duty over the weekend.
“Every incident has to be assessed on the individual circumstances prevailing at the time and in this case darkness, weather, layout of the area, mood of the gathering and immediate availability of officers were all factors in the decision.”
The force, which had 367 officers on duty throughout Sussex shortly after midnight on Sunday when the rave started, chose not to bring in assistance from neighbouring forces after deciding it would not have been an appropriate response.
The spokesman added: “Our containment and restriction on further arrivals played a significant part in reducing the numbers and bringing the event to a close earlier than might otherwise have been the case.”
The National Trust has been tasked with cleaning the area, and although ravers piled rubbish into bin bags and left them at the site as they left on Monday morning, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done to restore the land to its previous state.
Charlie Cain, head ranger for the National Trust at Devil's Dyke and Saddlescombe has asked anybody willing to help to meet them at Devil’s Dyke car park at 10.30am today.
The team will be repairing a large number of damaged fences and gates which freed grazing cattle and separated them from their water supply.
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