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Police defend handling of illegal Jubilee rave
2:32pm Tuesday 5th June 2012 in News
Police have defended their handling of an illegal Jubilee rave in Southampton.
It comes after party goers criticised the way officers dealt with the party on Southampton Common.
That happened when a controversial unlicensed street party in the heart of the city was stopped from going ahead by police.
Officers and partygoers clashed and several people were arrested for blasting out music on the Common – and then released without further action.
Residents praised officers for their quick response in swooping to shut down an unlicensed Jubilee party.
But last night party organisers from Freedom Freaks Sound System accused police of provoking the ugly scenes by “coming in heavy-handed” even accusing officers of encouraging the party at Southampton Common.
Officers had directed them there from an unlicensed and unapproved mass street party, which had been arranged for Newcombe Road in the Polygon despite warnings from police and Southampton City Council.
A jeering crowd threw bottles and cans at officers when they swooped from behind bushes at the Common on Sunday to seize the sound system blasting out loud music beside the children’s playground.
One of the Freedom Freaks Sound System organisers, 23-year-old Martin Secree, last night claimed police were taking revellers to the Common in their police vans.
He said: “We never have problems at our events. The police told us to go to the Common and the next minute those same officers came in rough handed – that is what caused all the trouble. It was a set up.
“They came from everywhere, they took away thousands of pounds worth of equipment and had absolutely no respect for it.
“We want to work with the police not against them.”
A Hampshire police spokesman, said: “To ensure public safety police will intervene to stop unlicensed events where ever possible and take action against those suspected of being responsible for organising them.”
Lorraine Barter, a member of Polygon campaign group Residents Action, said: “It would have been a nightmare if police hadn’t cordoned off Newcombe Road. I have to complement the police on their swift action, they acted brilliantly to move the problem away and then deal with it quickly. It saved us residents from a dangerous situation.”
Meanwhile a 25-year-old man from Southampton was held on suspicion of causing public nuisance and another 27-year-old man was held on suspicion of a public order offence.
They are now both on bail pending further police enquiries.
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