Police shut down the M6 to shut down an illegal rave under a highway bridge that they said was “dangerous” near the road and a river – and a “grave violation” of Covid-19’s coronavirus laws .
A video of the incident shared by West Midlands Police shows “concerned parents” turned up in cars “trying to find their children” at an event.
A police spokesman said, “We have closed an illegal rave held under a bridge on the M6 over a serious breach of coronavirus laws held dangerously close to a river and a freeway.”
“A member of the public warned of the planned event, and revelers were given a rally point before the location of the event was announced.
“Our officers found the meeting under the bridge at Junction 4 on the West Midlands-Warwickshire border. They decided not to move in immediately, but to have a drone and helicopter assistance.
“They were concerned that if a large number of officers suddenly showed up, those gathered might flee and fall into the river or try to escape onto the highway.
“Thermal cameras on our drone spotted around 30 people celebrating under the bridge while the night lights of a police helicopter were used to break up the gathering.
“The highway was temporarily closed to minimize the risk to the people there and a woman was helped after falling from the river.”
“Some of those who had gathered in the early hours of Saturday morning fled into the night. Officers were positioned nearby when the event broke out. We took the details of 22 people to fines them £ 200 To give.”
“A man was found with a suitcase of sound equipment and a van believed to have been used in preparation for the event was confiscated after getting stuck in the mud.
“The man could count on £ 10,000 now if he organized the event.”
Deputy Police Chief Chris Todd said, “This was an unauthorized event that would have been illegal outside of CoVID-19 legislation. However, given the public health context, this is an even more irresponsible act.”
“I want to thank the officers who participated in a very challenging scene late at night on a freeway and on the bank of a river, making public safety a priority.
“They made sure everyone was safe by closing the freeway for a short time, and even helped a woman from the river. Fortunatly nobody was hurt.
“We’re going to fine 22 people and try to identify other people who attended the illegal gathering.
“I understand people’s frustration that they went through a long lockdown, but it is unacceptable to rally in large numbers for an unlicensed event in such a dangerous environment and we need to take action.”