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Drug barons are bankrolling DJs to organise illegal festival-sized raves

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Drug barons are paying DJs to organise illegal ‘festival-sized’ raves in various locations across the UK, police fear.

Gangsters in the northwest want the large, drug-fuelled parties to go ahead because they create a crowded market of ravers who want to buy their class-A substances, a Greater Manchester Police source said. 

Several of the 13 illegal raves stopped by police in Greater Manchester last weekend were funded by criminals. 

And police fear the trend will continue with a series of ‘giant raves’ bringing partygoers flocking to the area for a ‘crazy summer’ after festivals were cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. 

Gangs pay for music equipment and around six or seven DJs per party and still stand to make massive profit by selling various pills, cocaine, cannabis, MDMA, ketamine and highly-popular laughing gas canisters. 

On Thursday, violence flared as Metropolitan Police officers had objects thrown at them while attempting to disperse a crowd at an illegal music gathering near Notting Hill (pictured)

Earlier this month, two illegal lockdown-defying raves in Greater Manchester (footage pictured) ended in tragedy

Revellers packed together in one of the Manchester raves

Earlier this month, two illegal lockdown-defying raves in Greater Manchester (footage pictured) ended in tragedy

Clips from Snapchat - which were tagged as being taken in Oldham - showed party goers with a huge sign reading 'quarantine rave' earlier this month

Revellers danced into the night during the irresponsible raves, footage of which was shared on social media earlier this month

Clips from Snapchat – which were tagged as being taken in Oldham – showed party goers with a huge sign reading ‘quarantine rave’ earlier this month

On Wednesday night in Brixton, 22 officers were injured during clashes with ravers (pictured) which Downing Street condemned as an 'appalling' scene and Home Secretary Patel dubbed 'utterly vile'

On Wednesday night in Brixton, 22 officers were injured during clashes with ravers (pictured) which Downing Street condemned as an ‘appalling’ scene and Home Secretary Patel dubbed ‘utterly vile’

A police source told The Sunday Times: ‘The clubs and bars in Manchester are currently shut due to lockdown. 

‘Criminals are adapting by using these illegal raves to supply pills, cocaine, cannabis, MDMA and ketamine.’

They added: ‘A gang that controls the drug supply of a 4,000-person rave event stands to make an enormous amount of money.’ 

Earlier this month, two illegal lockdown-defying raves in Greater Manchester ended in tragedy. It is not known if these raves, pictured, were organised by gangsters.

In Carrington, there were reports of three separate stabbings at a 2,000-strong party, including one which left an 18-year-old man with life-threatening injuries. Two other men, aged 25 and 26, were also injured.

Police are investigating the rape of an 18-year-old woman who attended the Carrington event. 

A massive block party in Maida Vale took place on Friday afternoon

Riot police battled hundreds of revellers with shields and truncheons while dodging missiles thrown at them

A massive block party in Maida Vale took place on Friday afternoon as riot police battled hundreds of revellers with shields and truncheons while dodging missiles thrown at them

In Oldham, a 20-year-old died of a drug overdose during a party of 4,000.   

On Wednesday night in Brixton, 22 officers were injured during clashes with ravers which Downing Street condemned as an ‘appalling’ scene and Home Secretary Patel dubbed ‘utterly vile’. 

On Thursday, violence flared yet again as Metropolitan Police officers had objects thrown at them while attempting to disperse a crowd at an illegal music gathering near Notting Hill.

Two men set about vandalising a police car in Brixton

Two men set about vandalising a police car after a party in Brixton erupted into violence

Two men set about vandalising a police car after a party in Brixton erupted into violence

A massive block party took place in West Kilburn on Friday afternoon before moving to Maida Vale where riot police with shields and truncheons battled hundreds of revellers who threw missiles at them.  

Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned the rise of mass gatherings witnessed in recent days was ‘unacceptable’ and that it risked a second deadly spike of coronavirus.

Ms Patel, speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, said: ‘What we’ve seen with mass gatherings and protests is unacceptable.

‘The violence we’ve seen against our officers is also unacceptable.

‘My message is the same – I would urge people not to participate in gatherings of that nature or protests, but I would also add if people do assault police officers, they will feel the full force of the law.

‘It is simply unacceptable to have people gathering in these awful ways that we have been seeing.’

Met Police chief Cressida Dick said ‘consequences will follow’ for those who attack officers and damage property. 

And last night, police struggled to disperse thousands at ‘unlicensed’ raves on Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common. 

Video footage shows ravers dancing to loud music in Tooting Bec and hundreds of people earlier flouting social distancing in Clapham.

Lambeth Police tweeted: ‘Officers are at the scene of a large unlicensed music event in Clapham Common. They are dispersing those in attendance. 

‘We understand the impact this is having on the local community, officers will remain at the scene until the event is cleared.’ 

Police were called to handle an illegal rave at Tooting Bec Common, London last night

Police were called to handle an illegal rave at Tooting Bec Common, London last night

Police officers storm Tooting Bec Common last night as revellers dance at an illegal mass party

Police officers storm Tooting Bec Common last night as revellers dance at an illegal mass party

Police officers storm Clapham Common last night as revellers dance at an illegal mass party

Police officers storm Clapham Common last night as revellers dance at an illegal mass party

Police were called to handle an illegal rave at Tooting Bec Common, London last night

Police were called to handle an illegal rave at Tooting Bec Common, London last night

Wandsworth Police released a similar statement, while the Metropolitan Police tweeted: ‘An enhanced policing operation remains in place across London tonight following a number of violent incidents in recent days. 

‘We are aware of a number of unlicensed events taking place tonight – specially trained officers have been deployed to ensure crowds are dispersed.’

Jeremy Deller said the conditions for another hedonistic summer were ripe, The Guardian reported

The artist, who has explored rave culture in his work, said: ‘There is a clear demand for something that is currently illicit again and the impulse is the same: congregation, community, enjoyment – now with the added frisson of lockdown.’  

Video footage shows ravers dancing to loud music on Tooting Bec Common last night

Video footage shows ravers dancing to loud music on Tooting Bec Common last night

Police struggled to disperse thousands of ravers at two events in London last night (pictured, Tooting Bec Common)

Pictured: Tooting Bec Common

Police struggled to disperse thousands of ravers at two events in London last night (pictured, Tooting Bec Common)

Illegal ravers attended a mass party in Tooting Bec, London, following a week of disorder

Illegal ravers attended a mass party in Tooting Bec, London, following a week of disorder

Police put dispersal zones in place 'due to significant disruption caused by two ongoing unlicensed music events' in Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common

Police put dispersal zones in place ‘due to significant disruption caused by two ongoing unlicensed music events’ in Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common 

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London, yesterday

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London, yesterday

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London, yesterday

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London, yesterday

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London

Hundreds of people attended an illegal mass party on Clapham Common, London

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dick wrote in The Sun that it has been a ‘very difficult week’ in the capital, with officers coming under attack as they tried to break up crowds.

Photos posted on social media show a park in Tottenham mostly covered in trash after a mass rave, with one person furiously commenting: ‘So they’ve just undone all the healing the environment had during lockdown.’

Another person suggested the issue was nothing compared to scenes outside Anfield football stadium, where thousands of Liverpool fans had gathered to celebrate to club’s Premier League win.  

In Cardiff, piles of hippy crack canisters and empty beer bottles were left behind at late-night parties in the bay area to the south of the city

In Cardiff, piles of hippy crack canisters and empty beer bottles were left behind at late-night parties in the bay area to the south of the city

Police formed a barricade and raised their shields as various missiles were thrown at them during a stand off with ravers in Kilburn, north London

Police formed a barricade and raised their shields as various missiles were thrown at them during a stand off with ravers in Kilburn, north London

Visit Cardiff Bay added on Twitter: 'Please don't treat it (Cardiff Bay) like a rubbish tip and ruin it for others ¿ put your litter in the bins provided, or if they're full, take it home with you'

Visit Cardiff Bay added on Twitter: ‘Please don’t treat it (Cardiff Bay) like a rubbish tip and ruin it for others – put your litter in the bins provided, or if they’re full, take it home with you’

Riot police were seen breaking up a street party in Maida Vale, London, on Friday

Riot police were seen breaking up a street party in Maida Vale, London, on Friday

Police speaking with revellers wearing face masks as illegal raves break out across the UK

Police speaking with revellers wearing face masks as illegal raves break out across the UK 

Following unrest in Exmouth this week – including a mass brawl involving up to 200 people – Devon and Cornwall Police have put together a dispersal notice to ensure that those likely to cause trouble can be moved along. 

In Cheshire, police have vowed to crack down on a planned rave in Knutsford while in Staffordshire, officers warned potential revellers to ‘pause and think’. 

Superintendent of Local Policing in Exeter, East and Mid-Devon, Antony Hart said: ‘Over the past two days there have been a number of incidents of disorder and anti-social behaviour in the area of Exmouth sea front and Orcombe Point. 

Huge crowds were seen gathered in Cardiff yesterday. Groups were sent home by police

Huge crowds were seen gathered in Cardiff yesterday. Groups were sent home by police

‘These reports have included large groups of young people and adults fighting, a serious assault and officers being verbally abused and spat at. Needless to say, this is absolutely unacceptable behaviour and it will not be tolerated.

‘As a result of these matters we will be putting out an increased high visibility police presence in the area over the coming days and those arriving can expect to be greeted by officers. Those who are involved in anti-social behaviour will be robustly dealt with, and we will seek out those who have committed offences.   

‘A Section 35 dispersal order has been put in place between 12pm on Friday 26 and 12pm on Sunday 28 June to cover the sea front area. 

‘Anyone who is formally given notice to disperse from the area must not return within the notice period and anyone who does is liable for arrest and prosecution.’ 

Riot police with shields broke up an illegal party at Maida Vale, west London on Friday

Riot police with shields broke up an illegal party at Maida Vale, west London on Friday

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: ‘There is information to suggest that a rave will be taking place within the Knutsford area this weekend. Numerous officers are out on patrol across the area checking in on hotspots.

‘If you have any information as to where this is taking place please call us on 101.’

Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: ‘When you’re planning to go out, breach Covid guidance to ‘party’ and put yourself and everyone else at risk, can you pause and think about someone else other than yourself?’

Cardiff City Council said: ‘With the recent warm weather and the lockdown starting to ease, we appreciate that residents want to spend more time outside. 

‘What isn’t acceptable is for residents to leave their litter in parks and open spaces, ruining them for everyone else, and expecting someone else to clear up the mess’.

Visit Cardiff Bay said: ‘Please don’t treat (Cardiff Bay) like a rubbish tip and ruin it for others – put your litter in the bins provided, or if they’re full, take it home with you.’ 

One officer was injured and five police vehicles trashed at an illegal party attended by 150 people in Longsight, Manchester this week. 

Police broke up 39 gatherings in Greater Manchester on Thursday alone.

Dame Cressida said the force had a ‘duty’ to stop unlawful music events during the Covid-19 pandemic and vowed: ‘We will be prepared this weekend.’ 

Other footage taken on Friday night shows revellers dancing on top of a van during the rave in London

A group were seen dancing on a van

Other footage taken on Friday night shows revellers dancing on top of a van during the rave in London 

Police speaking with revellers in Maida Vale as illegal raves break out across the UK this week

Police speaking with revellers in Maida Vale as illegal raves break out across the UK this week

Following unrest in Exmouth this week - including a mass brawl involving up to 200 people - Devon and Cornwall police have put together a dispersal notice

Following unrest in Exmouth this week – including a mass brawl involving up to 200 people – Devon and Cornwall police have put together a dispersal notice

She said police were on the lookout for illegal parties after officers were injured in violent scenes in Brixton on Wednesday evening and in Notting Hill on Thursday. 

The commissioner said: ‘We have seen some large numbers of people completely flouting the health regulations, seeming not to care at all about their own or their families’ health and wanting to have large parties.

‘It is hot. Some people have drunk far too much. Some people are just angry and aggressive and some people are plain violent.

‘We will be prepared this weekend. We have officers all over London working hard again to try to keep the peace and to protect our public from violence and disorder.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Daily Express that those who attack police officers ‘will be taken off our streets’. 

Neighbours overlooking the popular square in Cardiff Bay say the area has seen a string of late night parties. Pictured: Hippy-crack canisters left over by party goers

Neighbours overlooking the popular square in Cardiff Bay say the area has seen a string of late night parties. Pictured: Hippy-crack canisters left over by party goers

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the scenes in Brixton as 'utterly vile' this week

Home Secretary Priti Patel described the scenes in Brixton as ‘utterly vile’ this week

An unlicensed block party can be seen in full swing on Thursday night with no social distancing and minimal to no police presence

An unlicensed block party can be seen in full swing on Thursday night with no social distancing and minimal to no police presence

An unlicensed block party can be seen in full swing on Thursday night with minimal to no police presence after a party in nearby Brixton ended in violent scenes the night before

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