Wera Voices Support for Underfunded Police

By Office of Wera Hobhouse, Jul 27, 2020 10:07

Commenting on the recent illegal rave that brought more than 3,000 people to Charmy Down just outside Bath in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency in the North East Somerset ward of Bathavon North, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said:

“We are in the midst of a pandemic. Those who organised and attended the rave that lasted from Saturday night well into Sunday morning recklessly endangered themselves and everyone they will be coming into contact with after this mass gathering.”

“Due to the loud music played at the rave, many Bath residents lost precious hours of sleep. I am especially concerned about the impact of this event on the wellbeing of nearby residents and on animals on the farms surrounding the rave site.”

“I was been briefed by Chief Constable Andy Marsh. Avon and Somerset Police have my full support. It’s important that the public understands what our hard-working police force is up against.”

“Between 5pm on Friday 17 July to 8am on Monday 20 July, the police received 1,017 calls to 999 requiring an immediate emergency response and a further 914 which needed a priority response. The incidents they attended resulted in 178 people being taken into custody.”

“Teams dealt with a life-threatening stabbing at a street party and four collisions involving the deaths of two pedestrians. Officers were trying to find 39 missing people - including nine assessed to be high risk. There were 95 calls reporting concern for welfare and 36 for people in mental health crisis. Officers also had 79 reports of domestic assault to respond to.”

“14 officers were injured while trying to help people and protect the public, facing being spat at, biting, scratching, punching, kicking, pushing and verbal abuse - including racial abuse. These officers remained on duty - including one who returned to work immediately after treatment to a dislocated shoulder."

“Avon and Somerset Police pulled officers away from front-line response duties to form a dedicated unit to respond to reports of unlicensed music events.”

“This team successfully prevented one such event near Frome on Saturday night – but were then deployed to Upper Swainswick near Bath to prevent any more people turning up to a rave which was already underway when they had the first call. They called in officers who were not working and other forces in order to close the event down by Sunday afternoon. They seized five vehicles and sound equipment and made one arrest. A post-incident review is ongoing and robust action will be taken against those found to be responsible.”

Wera concluded:

“Our police force has been exemplary throughout the whole of the Covid crisis and I want to thank them wholeheartedly for their tireless effort to protect all of us in the recent months. People easily forget that they too put their lives at risk so that we are protected.”

“The responsibility of the incident at Upper Swainswick must clearly be laid at the door of those who organised this event and their reckless disregard of public health and the safety of others. They must be brought to justice.”

“But I also wonder whether our Government’s messages are increasingly confusing to the public. Too many people are misunderstanding that we are not back to normal yet, and we won’t be back to normal for a long time. This is a hard message to give out and difficult for people to accept. But it is the only honest message. Rushing back to normality will only delay us further. “


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