Last weekend, London authorities stood idly by while over 500 ravers occupied the abandoned Citicape building near Holborn for an all-out, day and a half street party. According to police, the event “was too dangerous” for them to step in and attempt to break up.
The “incredibly powerful” sound system that raged on in central London was originally intended to be hosted in Fenchurch, but was moved to a soon-t0-be hotel in Holborn after attendees were forced off the premises.
Local authorities issued a brief statement about their capacity to intervene in such events:
We had shut down the main rave earlier so officers had been deployed there, but as is often the case with these raves, the organisers have a number of locations to fall back to. Most of the time people don’t know where it is until minutes before, so it is very hard to act fast enough to prevent them from occurring, which can only happen if you get there ahead of time. If you have more than 500 people inside, then you have to make a judgment call about how to proceed – it is a balancing act taking into consideration the safety of people inside. If you go in to forcibly remove people then it can be too dangerous with numbers of that size.
Police arrived to the rave at 2 am on Saturday, and ushered people away from the outside of the venue until midday Sunday.
Their decision stems, in part, from an incident that occurred five years ago in which riot police were assaulted with bricks when they attempted to break up a Halloween rave in the same city.
Neighbors located near this weekend’s party were told by police that they were under-sourced after some of the attendees attempted to break into their apartment block.