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Raves

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he intends to take to prevent the use of motorway service stations for rave parties; and if he will make a statement. [14315]

There are already powers available to the police to deal with the problem of illegal rave parties. Sections 63–67 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 empower the police to direct persons assembling on land to leave where it is believed that a large-scale gathering—of 100 or more—will take place and would cause serious distress to the inhabitants of the locality by the playing of amplified music during the night. Furthermore, in order to assist the police in preventing such events from taking place, the Act provides them with pre-emptive powers to direct people to leave the land where they reasonably believe that those people are preparing or gathering for such an event. The police also have powers to stop persons proceeding to a rave, or an intended rave, within a radius of five miles of its site.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many police man-hours were spent on the policing of rave parties in the last financial year in (a) England and Wales and (b) Cheshire; [14314](2) what was the total cost of policing rave parties in the last financial year in

(a) England and Wales and (b) Cheshire. [14316]

The information requested is not held centrally. The costs of specific activities carried out by the police is a matter for chief officers but police forces do not routinely hold information about the time spent on or the costs of individual operations. However, I understand from the Chief Constable of Cheshire that there were two rave parties in the last financial year at the M62 motorway service station at Burtonwood. A total of 220 officer hours was used in the policing of these events at a cost of approximately £3,600.