Clash at rave site injures 27 officers

PUBLISHED: 07:24 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 31 May 2010

HUNDREDS of revellers clashed with police officers at an illegal rave held in Great Chesterford on Saturday night. Several police officers were injured, 30 arrests were made and a police car was burnt out during the confrontation. Police estimated that as

HUNDREDS of revellers clashed with police officers at an illegal rave held in Great Chesterford on Saturday night.

Several police officers were injured, 30 arrests were made and a police car was burnt out during the confrontation.

Police estimated that as many as 600 people were at the event, held on a field belonging to Bordeaux Farm.

The party began on Friday night, continued throughout Saturday and was eventually shut down by police at around 10pm that night.

Farm owner Robert Fairhead, was unaware revellers were using his land until his friend contacted him on Saturday morning.

He said: "I could hear the sound of music when I went to bed on Friday at about 11pm. I just assumed there was a concert at Audley End, although I thought it was unusual they were having an event on a Friday.

"On Saturday morning a farmer friend of mine rang me and told me there were people using my land."

He went to the site but decided not to confront them and instead contacted police. Up to 200 police officers from Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Hertfordshire were involved in shutting down the rave.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Public safety and upholding the law were paramount so Essex Police mounted a controlled operation throughout Saturday to clear the site.

"This involved initially blocking the entrance to the farm to ensure no more people joined the event.

"They then negotiated with organisers and visitors to leave. Some people began to leave amicably but officers met some resistance.

"Missiles were thrown at officers and a police car was burnt out."

One party-goer, who did not wish to be named, said revellers were unhappy with the police trying to shut down the event.

He said: "Everything was going well until the police turned up at around

8.30pm. Everyone got in a circle around the sound system to try to stop the police shutting down the rig, but they forced their way through.

"People started throwing bottles at them and one of their cars got torched."

Police managed to rid the area of revellers by early Sunday afternoon. They arrested 30 people on suspicion of a variety of charges including conspiracy to cause a public nuisance, criminal damage, assaulting police and drugs offences.

Six were released without charge and the rest were freed on police bail until October. Twenty-seven officers suffered injuries, and nine were treated for concussion, a fractured collarbone and a severed fingertip.

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