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Sunday, 13 May, 2001, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Ravers wreck police cars
Ravers at Glastonbury
Police have broken up several gatherings
Two police patrol cars were wrecked early on Sunday when people attending an illegal rave on the South Downs, rolled the vehicles down a hill.

Sussex Police said the cars were later recovered from the dance event at Woodingdean, near Brighton, but were so badly damaged they would have to be written off.

About 1,000 people set up camp on the South Downs on land known as Race Hill.

But police say revellers have now started to leave the site after officers met with the rave organiser, who now faces arrest.


The organiser faces investigation in connection with damage caused to vehicles and the farmer's property

Sussex police spokesman
This follows the claim by a farmer whose land was occupied, that 400 damage has been caused to his crops.

It is also thought that the area chosen for the rave is part of a local nature reserve, which is now being inspected by reserve workers for damage.

A Sussex police spokesman said: "People have now started clearing the site. The organiser faces investigation by police in connection with damage caused to vehicles and the farmer's property."

It is believed those attending the event were the same group who were moved on from land in Hampshire and Surrey on Saturday.

The attack on the patrol cars happened at around 0400 BST following a visit by police.

Officers had been deciding whether to move in and break up the rave by force or to let it run its course in the hope the revellers would move off peacefully.

Ravers are 'enterprising people'

Police moved on 250 revellers who had gathered for an illegal rave at Bramshott in Hampshire on Saturday.

Surrey Police also moved action to stop around 400 setting up camp at Painshill in Cobham.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "We had a problem with gatherings all evening and it looks as though many finally went to this site.

"These are very enterprising people. They all have mobile phones and can change venue at a moments notice.

"When officers went along following a call at 4am a group wrecked two patrol cars by rolling them down a hill. The cars are complete write-offs.

"Attacking a police car is like attacking a fire engine or an ambulance. It could make all the difference in an emergency and this will cost the taxpayer a lot of money."

He added that it was thought the rave had been intended to continue all day and night.

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