Police foil illegal rave in disused railway tunnel as DJ equipment and bar found

Rave equipment has been seized by police from a disused railway tunnel.

A temporary bar, barriers and a DJ table set had also been set up in the hideaway.

The discovery was made in London, which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers and council officials raided the scene in Dulwich Wood, south east London on January 6.

They forced their way in through locked gates where they found the kit stashed away.

A large black curtain had been put in place to obscure the entrance so illegal raves would not have been seen.

Police said the tunnel was known as a spot where organisers were holding unlicensed music events (UMEs).

The equipment has been taken to a police station.

Police Sergeant Jonathan Adams said: "This old railway tunnel was known to us as a place where people were holding UMEs and most likely spreading Covid and putting themselves and others at risk.

"Not only would they have angered local residents by hosting this illegal event, but the tunnel is a protective site for bats, proving that UMEs don’t only disrupt humans, but also the local and unique wildlife that live there."

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The raid was made public a day after the UK recorded its highest daily Covid-19 death toll since the pandemic began.

Figures on Wednesday showed a further 1,564 deaths had been reported, as well as 47,525 cases.

Southwark Council’s public health chief Evelyn Akoto said: "I’m horrified that anyone would have such little regard for themselves or others, that they’d attend an illegal rave at the height of a pandemic.

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"We continue to support the police in finding and shutting down locations where illegal raves might be held.

"Only by working together can we prevent such dangerous, thoughtless and illegal events from happening."

Meanwhile, a leading expert said London was seeing a drop in its number of positive Covid tests, alongside the South East.

Professor Neil Ferguson said he thought the current wave may be coming under control in some regions.

But he warned restrictions of some sort could be needed for months until vaccines provide a high level of protection.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "At the moment, it looks like in London in particular, and a couple of other regions – the southeast and east of England – hospital admissions may even have plateaued, though it's hard to tell they're coming down.

"It has to be said this is not being seen everywhere."

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