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Arrests as thousands attend illegal Banwen rave

Part of the site where the illegal rave took place in Banwen. Credit: Dyfed Powys Police

South Wales Police have now reported 22 people we believe to have been involved in organising an illegal rave in the Banwen area for summons.

The action has been taken under new Welsh Government legislation to prohibit the organising of an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people. A breach of this prohibition is an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine or, as an alternative to conviction, by a fixed penalty set at £10,000.

There has been a significant policing operation targeting this event throughout the weekend which involved local and specialist resources, Dyfed Powys Police and British Transport Police.

Police have also seized and issued warnings to a number of vehicles and seized a significant amount of music equipment.

Three people have also been arrested throughout the weekend – two for driving while unfit through alcohol or drugs and one for a public order offence.

Only a handful of the 3,000 people believed to have attended the event remain on site and officers will remain until everyone has departed.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Thorne said: “We have taken really proactive action against those who organised this.

“We responded as soon as we became aware of the event and we have had a police presence on site day and night and I would like to reassure local communities we acted as robustly as we can and we will continue to do so.

“We will now review footage of the event and if we can identify more offenders we will look to prosecute.

“It is extremely disappointing and disrespectful to our communities that we have had to deal with an event like this, not only on a busy weekend for the emergency services, but also during the coronavirus pandemic where legislation has been put in place to keep everyone safe.

“Those gathering know that their actions are irresponsible and many travelled hundreds of miles to attend the event. We work tirelessly to uphold the law, but we cannot do this alone. Personal responsibility is crucial.”