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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Five arrested after illegal rave
Police at the scene of the illegal rave
Extra officers from neighbouring forces were called in to help
Five people have been arrested after police in riot gear broke up a three day illegal rave in an ancient woodland in Monmouthshire.

Gwent Police drafted in extra help to disperse the estimated 3,000 people and around 1,000 vehicles at the illegal gathering in Wentwood Forest.

Officers seized 10 large trucks containing powerful sound equipment.

Police were alerted on Saturday night by local residents who heard music coming from the forest.

Amanda Shufflebotham, who lives near the forest in Llanfair Discoed, said villagers knew "something serious was going on".

"I didn't know if it was a police exercise at first but they (police) came thundering through the village up towards Wentwood.

"It went through the village - it was an illegal rave".

We're expecting a huge tidy-up operation with litter and debris, there's been a fire
Doug Ellerby, Forestry Commission Wales

Upwards of 250 police officers were involved in the operation and according to Gwent Police it was the biggest illegal rave in the force's area.

Officers were drafted in from Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, West Mercia and South Wales Police to help.

Supt Jon Burley from Gwent Police said they had used "positive policing" to deal with the situation.

"There will be no reoccurrence of the rave in Wentwood over the Easter weekend so they (residents) can enjoy the rest of their Easter," he said.

Specialist officers were sent out on Saturday night to stop and speak to people at the scene and take details of their vehicles after it was decided it was unsafe, because of the numbers involved, to enforce legal action against those taking part in the rave.

The fire service, who were called in to tackle a blaze on scrubland in the forest on Sunday, and the Forestry Commission also assisted.

Doug Ellerby from the commission said: "We had thousands of vehicles in the forest at Wentwood and we're expecting a huge tidy-up operation with litter and debris, there's been a fire.

"We will have to assess the damage and it's going to be a busy week for the Forestry Commission down at Wentwood."




SEE ALSO
Police tackle 3,000 forest ravers
08 Apr 07 |  Mid Wales
Police warn of more illegal raves
29 Aug 06 |  Mid Wales
Vigilance call on illegal raves
26 Aug 06 |  South West Wales

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