Bottles launched at police as riot officers called to break up illegal rave

Riot police were attacked with glass bottles as they broke up an illegal rave in the West Midlands.

Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK
Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK

Around 150 revellers gathered in the Digbeth area of Birmingham on Saturday evening and partied in a warehouse used to film Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One.

The ravers barricaded themselves inside the dilapidated industrial building in Bordesley Street at around 9.30pm before dozens of riot police arrived and forced their way in.

The street was filled with West Midlands Police vans as dog units supported specialist officers wearing helmets and carrying riot shields.

Bordesley Street was filled with police vehicles as the party was broken up. Photo: SnapperSK
Each raver was given a £200 fine by police. Photo: SnapperSK
Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK

Around £30,000 worth of fines were handed out once the music was stopped, with the party-goers led outside in groups of six and each person given a £200 penalty notice.

One officer was left seriously injured and Class A drugs, a knuckleduster and DJ equipment were found at the site, according to West Midlands Police.

A 36-year-old man was arrested and remained in custody for questioning on Sunday afternoon.

Chief Superintendent Andy Beard said: "This was not only illegal, but extremely dangerous for both those who attended and officers.

Police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK
Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK
Police at the warehouse, which was used for the filming of Ready Player One in 2018. Photo: SnapperSK

"It's extremely disappointing that some are still not grasping that such events only increase the risk of spreading a deadly virus.

"We're currently under national restrictions and the region will then go into the highest tier due to the number of Covid cases next week.

"It's unacceptable when people recklessly ignore the rules and put themselves and others at risk of catching the disease. It's also unacceptable that officers should be attacked while going about their duties.

"We've seized equipment, drugs and a weapon and we'll be looking to ensure there will be no repeat again."

Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK
Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK
Riot police at a warehouse where an illegal rave took place in Digbeth, Birmingham. Photo: SnapperSK

The illegal get-together took place in a former tea factory which was used as a film location for 2018 science-fiction movie Ready Player One.

Paramedics arrived after a woman was brought out by officers with a suspected broken ankle.

More party-goers arrived in the area carrying bags of alcohol but made a quick getaway after spotting police.

In total 10 riot vans were seen surrounding the large factory along with several police cars, while four dog units also arrived to help keep the crowd under control.

The current English lockdown bans people from gathering unless they are in the same household or support bubble or are meeting a maximum of one person outside.

Birmingham, the Black Country and Staffordshire will remain under tough rules when the national lockdown ends and the region moves into Tier 3 on Wednesday.

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