Chris Sykes, a deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said, “These raves were illegal and I condemn them – they were clearly a violation of coronavirus laws and guidelines, and had tragic consequences. ”
The force said it was investigating the alleged rape of an 18-year-old woman in an illegal rave in Carrington, Trafford, where 2,000 people gathered. According to the report, three men were stabbed during the event, including an 18-year-old boy who was left with fatal injuries.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of having an offensive weapon and investigations are continuing to find the suspects involved in the incidents, police said.
At a separate rave in Failsworth, Oldham, police said a 20-year-old man died of an alleged drug overdose at an event attended by approximately 4,000 people at its peak. The footage showed a huge crowd dancing around a “Quarantine rave” banner in Daisy Nook Park.
This has happened while the British police have been facing one of their busiest weekends since the lockdown started in March. Police were called to similar mass rallies in Leeds and Staffordshire on Saturday evening, while many forces were confronted by clashes between anti-racist protesters and the far right during the day. A demonstration by the right-wing Democratic Football Lads Alliance has turned violent in London.
Skyes said specialist officers provide support for the family of the deceased and alleged rape victim.
He said Greater Manchester police had recorded a 60% increase from 999 calls on Saturday evening – to over 1,500 calls – while the number of people calling 101 had almost doubled.
People had been drawn to the outdoor spaces as the weather improved on weekends, although many appeared to flout the lockout restrictions, which prohibit meetings of more than six people from different households.
Sykes added, “Our top priority will always be the safety of the public, whom we are here to serve and protect. We hope the public can recognize the challenges we are facing right now and that our communities will come together to do the right thing by following government guidelines.
“The coronavirus is still a threat and we will continue to engage with people to encourage them to take personal responsibility and do the right thing.”
Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, who volunteered for a local charity called Rave in Oldham, described the revelers as “completely irresponsible” and said that they were putting themselves and their loved ones in danger.
She tweeted, “A lot of effort went into online events this weekend at GM to stop this kind of stupidity. Participants should be ashamed of themselves. My region now faces the consequences. Our officials, including our police and NHS staff, are on the front line to fight Covid and keep us safe. These raves also increased the risk for them and their families.
“Our infection rate in the northwest is still very worrying. We all have a responsibility to our community to obey the rules and protect the most vulnerable. I urge people to observe the social distancing and advice of the current government on Covid. ”
Staffordshire police said their agents closed an outdoor music event after a call to 999 reported dozens of people in the village of Whittington, near Lichfield, on Saturday evening.
BirminghamLive reported that 500 people attended the rave, some from as far away as Manchester. Police said one of his officers was attacked and a party animal was arrested for drinking and driving. The photos showed bottles of beer and cans of nitrous oxide scattered over the generally picturesque woods.
In Leeds, police were called to an illegal rally where hundreds of people in cars gathered around a supermarket parking lot in the suburb of Alwoodley. Residents complained to West Yorkshire police after roads blocked with cars trying to get into Sainsbury’s parking lot in central Moor Allerton on Saturday evening.
• This article was updated on Sunday, July 14, 2020. The article originally reported that a rave had taken place in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside. This was corrected at Failsworth, Oldham.