Police step up patrols amid rumours of 'illegal rave' on Fylde coast
Police will be on patrol across the Fylde coast tonight in a bid to crack down on so-called illegal raves.
People have been warned that their safety 'can't be guaranteed' at such events due to coronavirus.
Two dance parties - called 'quarantine raves' - wreaked havoc in Manchester last week.
One man died of a suspected drug overdose at an event at Daisy Nook Country Park in Oldham, which was attended by around 4,000 people and left the park littered with rubbish. A separate rave at Carrington on Saturday, which attracted around 2,000 people, resulted in three stabbings and a rape.
Now Blackpool police has announced plans to step up patrols on the Fylde coast amid rumours that a similar rave is due to take place in the area tonight.
Superintendent Damian Kitchen said: "We have a dedicated policing operation in place, which will see an increased police presence in the area and our intention is to ensure that no event goes ahead.
"We will have extra patrols monitoring routes across the county and at key locations. If we see people on foot or in a car travelling towards any event, we have powers available - which we are ready to use - to turn them away no matter how far they have come.
"Similar events across the region have already proved to be unregulated and unsafe, with none of the facilities or security people would expect at a legal festival or event. There is an increased risk to the health and safety of anyone attending and those involved in their organisation risk prosecution."
Outdoor gatherings of more than six people are currently forbidden by the Government's lockdown rules.
It is feared that these illegal raves will lead to the further spreading of coronavirus.
Supt Kitchen said: "We understand that it has been a difficult time for everyone recently, particularly young people who won’t have been able to socialise with their friends in the environments they are used to, but the coronavirus regulations are still in place and they are there to protect people and save lives. The virus definitely hasn’t gone away and many areas of the North West continue to see high infection rates.
"If you are a parent or guardian, please pass on the message that these events can be harmful to your children’s health and they could end up getting themselves into trouble. Recent events in the region, which have been unregulated and unsafe, have seen serious physical and sexual assaults reported and the safety of people at them simply can’t be guaranteed."
People who are concerned about suspicious or antisocial behaviour or large gatherings are asked to contact police on 101.