Police apologise after failing to break up all-night rave on residential street

Police have apologised after nearly 1,000 people broke social distancing rules during an all-night rave on a residential street.

Avon and Somerset Police said by the time its officers could attend the gathering in Stokes Croft, Bristol, on Saturday night, it was too big to shut down.

Instead, officers focused on trying not to allow even more people to show up.

Residents were left furious after hundreds of revellers descended on their street and spent the night drinking and dancing in front of a DJ playing dub music.

The impromptu event comes just a week after thousands of people gathered at so-called ‘quarantine raves’ in Manchester which saw one man die of a suspected drug overdose and three people stabbed.

Hundreds of revellers took to a residential street in Stokes Croft, Bristol, for an all-night rave. (SWNS)

Video footage filmed by Best of Bristol shows hundreds of people packed together in a huge crowd for the event.

Angry residents voiced their anger on social media, questioning why the event wasn’t shut down.

Read more: ‘I’m only human’: Health secretary apologises for ‘momentary lapse’ in breaking social distancing

Resident Clare Bennett wrote on Facebook: “I feel very angry and genuinely upset that people can be so selfish.

“Having a club night outside, in a residential area is bad enough and something that seems to happen more often around here, even before lockdown. But to do it in the middle of a pandemic is just incredible. Selfish, selfish, selfish people.”

The huge crowd drank and danced the night away in front of a DJ playing dub music at the impromptu event in Stokes Croft, Bristol. (SWNS)

Jane Holehouse, who lives on a neighbouring street, added: “I feel exactly the same! People were also relieving themselves literally anywhere! Disgusting.

“Went on for 12 hours, no idea why the police didn’t shut it down. Let’s watch Bristol’s numbers spike now! Will they all be going to see their fathers today?? Pass it on??”

Avon and Somerset Police said: "We would like to apologise to those affected by the noise and nuisance caused by a rave in Stokes Croft and a large party in St Werburgh's overnight Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 June.

“We are reviewing the appropriateness of our response to two calls received around 4pm regarding a possible party being organised at Sydenham Road, and whether this presents any opportunities to review our procedures.

“When we had complaints at about 5.30pm regarding noise nuisance in Sydenham Road and in Narroways Road, St Werburgh's, officers were unable to attend immediately due to the number of live incidents across Bristol, including assaults, collisions, domestic abuse, concern for welfare and missing people, in many cases with a significant risk of someone coming to physical harm.”

The force said as further calls came in from 7.30pm there were already “significant numbers” of people at each location.

It added: “Police did attend and speak with the organisers who refused to engage. For the safety of all involved, due to the potential for serious disorder, it was decided to focus on preventing further attendance at the events rather than attempting to seize the sound system.

“Over coming days officers will be carrying out regular patrols of potential rave sites and engaging with the owners of vacant properties and landowners to ensure they have appropriate security.

“Anyone with information about a potential rave site, or who sees sound equipment being taken into a disused property or plot of land should call us immediately on 101.”