A 20-year-old man died of a suspected drug overdose, one woman was raped and three people were stabbed during two illegal “quarantine raves” on Saturday night in England that attracted several thousand partiers, according to officials.
The Greater Manchester Police said in a news release Sunday that two large raves, in Carrington and Oldman, were “clearly a breach of coronavirus legislation and guidelines” and ended with “tragic consequences.”
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes said officers attempting to respond to the gatherings were “met with violence,” including items being thrown and a police car being vandalized.
“I want to make it clear that this is absolutely not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” he said. “Our officers are working incredibly hard to keep people safe and should never be met with inexcusable violence whilst carrying out their duties.”
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Officials said they experienced a “surge” in emergency calls over the weekend, with more than a 60 percent increase during the overnight hours.
Videos posted to Twitter from one of the raves showed people packed closely together, not wearing masks, as a large sign reading “Quarantine Rave” hung over the DJ booth.
In Oldham, there are believed to have been 4,000 people at the rave there, where a 20-year-old man died from a suspected drug overdose.
At the 2,000-person rave in Carrington, officials said there were a “number of serious incidents,” including three separate reported stabbings. An 18-year-old man was left with life-threatening injuries, and there were a number of other injuries reported from separate violent incidents.
Authorities are also investigating the rape of an 18-year-old woman who attended the event.
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Sacha Lord, who is the nighttime economy adviser for the region, said those who had attended the raves had put themselves and those they love at risk.
“I’ve seen some of the footage,” he tweeted. “You aren’t clubbers. Just selfish idiots.”
Photos from a reporter with Manchester Evening News showed the field filled with trash the morning after.
Members of the community were reportedly picking up trash on Sunday morning.
Police said they were investigating the incidents that unfolded at the raves, and reminded the public that coronavirus is still a threat.
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The United Kingdom has one of the highest death rates from coronavirus in the world, with the Manchester area having one of the highest rates of infection.
As of Sunday, there have been 297,342 confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.K. with some 41,783 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
“Coronavirus is still a threat and we will continue to engage with people to encourage them to take some personal responsibility and do the right thing,” police said.
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“Ultimately we need the people of Greater Manchester to join together and demonstrate the spirit that they have previously shown in the face of hard times.”