This is the moment police raided a lockdown rave with 100 revellers in a Chorley woodlands

Bodycam footage has captured the early stages of a police raid on a lockdown rave in woodlands near Chorley.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 9:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:01 pm

Police were called to reports of an illegal party in the woods between Healey Nab quarry and White Coppice, near Anglezarke, at around 9pm on Saturday (March 6).

Night vision cameras revealed that between 80 and 100 revellers were taking part in the rave, with police observing that "more were arriving all the time".

Lancashire Police said most of the party-goers fled as officers arrived at the scene, but 12 people were caught and fined £200 each for breaching lockdown restrictions.

The aftermath of the rave at the quarry rave in the woods between Healey Nab quarry and White Coppice, near Anglezarke, Chorley in the early hours of Sunday morning (March 7). Pic: Lancashire Police

The force said two people were also dealt with for drugs offences and music equipment blaring dance music was seized.

Body-worn police footage has been released showing officers making their way through the dark woods at around 2am. The video also features aerial footage from the police helicopter's thermal imaging camera showing dozens of people at the rave in the woods below.

Police pictures of the party's aftermath show bottles, litter, and laughing gas (Nitrous oxide) canisters strewn across the woodlands.

The Chorley rave was one of 529 alleged lockdown breaches reported across Lancashire at the weekend with a total of 238 fines issued. It means the cost of fines handed out totalled around £50,000.

Body-worn police footage has been released showing officers making their way through the dark woodlands in Chorley on Saturday night (March 6)

It is an increase on the previous weekend when a total of 281 suspected breaches of lockdown were reported to the force, with 224 people fined for flouting restrictions.

Ch Insp Phil Hutchinson said those taking part in the rave had been "unbelievably selfish" and their actions had been "completely unacceptable".

He added that some of them had made "threats of violence towards officers who were simply doing their jobs."

He said: "This party was a blatant breach of the current restrictions and it is unbelievably selfish for anyone to believe they can gather in these numbers when so many law-abiding citizens have not seen their friends and family properly in almost a year.

"The people in attendance also gave no thought to the safety of the local community or the officers who had to attend to break up the gathering, not to mention the NHS which is under strain.

"Threats of violence were made towards officers – who were simply doing their jobs – and this is also completely unacceptable.

"Most people are doing their bit to stop the spread of the virus so it is shocking that a minority of people still think they are exempt.

"We must stress that while we are continuing to spend most of our time dealing with crime and keeping people safe, incidents like this take us away from that.

"We have always taken a proportionate approach to breaches of the regulations – educating, explaining and engaging first, with enforcement as a last resort - but when people blatantly break the rules we have to take it seriously and take a much firmer approach.

"We continue to be immensely grateful to those who are following the law and are doing their bit to keep everybody safe.

"We all want lockdown to end, and for normality to resume, and we say a huge ‘thank you’ to those working with us to make that happen.

"We are also thankful to those who reported the gathering to us, enabling us to break it up relatively early on."

Other lockdown-breaching incidents investigated by Lancashire Police included a large party at a farm in Dunnockshaw, a group of 10 people gathering for a 30th birthday karaoke party in Walton-le-Dale and a poker tournamenet in Blackburn.