Sowton party man's anger at police
A MUM and her son have criticised the police after a birthday party which was halted for fears it could turn into a rave.
Mary Poole said the event was for her son’s 30th birthday party and criticised the use of the police helicopter saying the issue had been “blown out of proportion”.
Police closed down the event on Saturday down after fears from local residents it could turn into a rave based on information about previous events at the same site.
According to police, the organiser of the event, Andrew Poole, volunteered to put a stop to the party, which police had authorisation to close under Public Order legislation.
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Mrs Poole said: “Four cars drove down a private lane to a private field.
“The police helicopter was over them and all it watched them do was put up a gazebo and light a barbecue.”
She added: “It was a small event with no more than 10 people there when it was raided. My son had put information up on Facebook and had 17 people confirmed they were coming.
“If that means it is a rave, I would like to know where they get their numbers from?”
And Mr Poole, also said he saw the police helicopter above the field.
He said: “When we drove in we were given looks by people living in the village. It just seems outrageous the police can shut down a party with one or two words from villagers.
“I don’t know about any other parties that have happened there.
“When the police came, the music wasn’t even plugged in.
“All they did was stop 15 people from having a barbecue.”
Mr Poole also said there was no order on the land saying it could only be used for agricultural purposes.
A police spokesman said: “The decision to close down a rave or illegal music festival is not taken lightly and the force recognises that there are many legitimate and well-organised events held regularly.
“When these gatherings are held outside the law they may become dangerous to those attending as fire regulations may be breached and access to such a site for emergency vehicles is limited.
“Loud music playing into the small hours is annoying to people living nearby who will turn to the police to stop this type of disturbance.
“On this occasion, we were extremely concerned how the event had been advertised on the Internet as an all-night party and it was therefore necessary to take the appropriate steps to stop the event.
“Had it gone ahead, it is likely that far more of our resources would have been used to police the event and there would have been considerable disruption to neighbouring properties.
“It was fortunate that the force helicopter was able to over fly the site as they were returning from another task, to give an overview of what was happening.
“We would actively encourage members of the public to report any illegal gatherings as soon as possible in order the police may prevent them from taking place.”