The police have issued a statement as to why they didn’t put a stop to the two illegal raves in Greater Manchester this weekend, which saw thousands of people gathering.
A senior Greater Manchester Police officer has denied that the force was understaffed for the incidents, where over 6,000 people gathered across two illegal raves in Oldham and Trafford.
The rave in Carrington had around 2,000 people gathered and reportedly saw three separate stabbings and a rape.
At the same time in Daisy Nook, Oldham, there were 4,000 rave-goers in a large field, and a man sadly died from a suspected drug overdose.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes admitted that there had been no warning of a rave taking place in Oldham, and says the scale and size of the two incidents ‘came on us really quickly’.
The police ‘carefully monitored’ the gatherings, a decision Mr Sykes defended, saying the police needed to strike the right balance of ‘proportionality and fairness with our overall Coronavirus response’.
Officers intervened at the rave at Carrington when they were alerted to a stabbing, which has left an 18-year-old man with life-threatening injuries.
He received life-saving first aid from the police officers before the paramedics arrived, rushing him to hospital where he now is recovering.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes explained that there are a number of complexities in dealing with large crowds.
He said: “When you’re dealing with large crowds the police moving into those crowds is always a very delicate situation.
“The overriding principle is that we’re trying to keep people safe and we get asked quite a lot ‘why don’t you move in and disperse everybody?’. The biggest concern we often have is that if we don’t get the proportionate police action correct then other people can get hurt.
“So that assessment was about the fact that we had reports of someone injured when we moved in and actually gave first aid.
“Thankfully that person is recovering in hospital now and is speaking to the police about what happened.”
Many MPs, including Angela Rayner and Kate Green MP for Stretford and Urmston, linked the prevention of the event to lack of police officers.
The force’s staffing levels have fallen by a third over the last decade. Ms Green said: “That’s one of the reasons this was so irresponsible.
“Police are very stretched, all emergency services are and they could not have safely prevented the event.”
She added: “I think it’s an operational decision by the senior officers on the ground as to the best way to handle the incident but I’m certainly concerned that the police did not have sufficient resources to be able to prevent it.”
Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner said: “The devastating cuts to the police by the Tory Government mean that our hardworking and dedicated local police forces simply don’t have the resources to deal with spikes in incidents like we saw this weekend.”
ACC Sykes cited a 60 per cent increase in 999 calls to GMP overnight – with 1,516 made between 5pm on Saturday and 4am on Sunday morning. He has since denied that the force was understaffed and overwhelmed by the two gatherings.
He said: “Last night really felt like a busy evening in Greater Manchester.
“We have the resources. The events earlier in the day didn’t impact negatively on the resources that we had.
“We dealt with these incidents with the resources that we had to the very best of our ability considering the proportionate nature of the way that we work. We always have to work with people. We have to work with the communities. It’s about a proportionate response from police.”
GMP Facebook shared a poster which stated that ‘any person found at the RAVE or walking to the location will be challenged and directed out of the area.’
When asked why officers didn’t stop people gathering at either Daisy Nook or Carrington, ACC Sykes said: “It’s not about what we allow, it’s about how we respond to things that take place.
“The events up at Oldham – there was some information about a gathering taking place and there was a neighbourhood operation in place to try and gather intelligence and try and understand where it was and be able to respond where we could.
“The location of that changed and the scale of it changed very much from the intelligence that we had. Then as it developed we have to try and deal with it in as proportionate a way as we possibly can, considering our duty to keep people safe but also the complexity of dealing with large crowds moving into an area.
“The one down at Carrington we didn’t have intelligence well in advance of that one at all. That one came onto us quite quickly yesterday afternoon and into the evening.”
A 20-year-old man died from a suspected drug overdose following the gathering in Daisy Nook, police say he collapsed on the way home.
An 18-year-old woman who was raped in the rave at Carrington is being supported by specialist officers.
There were also three separate reported stabbings in Carrington. A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.
No further arrests have been made yet.
Student suffers severe heart failure after drinking four cans of energy drink a day
‘I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children’
A young man who consumed two litres of energy drink a day was admitted to intensive care with severe heart failure.
According to a leading medical journal, the university student landed himself in hospital after drinking four cans of energy drink per day.
The 21-year-old spent nearly two months in intensive care due to heart failure, with the British Medical Journal stating this was ‘potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption’ in a report.
According to the report, the man drank four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, becoming so ill that medics thought he might require an organ transplant.
The patient went on to describe his medical episode as ‘traumatising’, eventually seeking medical help after he suffered from weight loss and shortness of breath for roughly four months.
Doctors performed blood tests, scans, and ECG readings, and found that he had both kidney and heart failure – however, the kidney failure was discovered to be linked to a previously undiagnosed condition.
Each energy drink the man was consuming contained around 160mg of caffeine, and medics said that ‘energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity’ was the most likely cause of the severe heart failure.
In the report, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust wrote: “We report a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.”
They said the conclusion to their report ‘adds to the growing concern in the literature about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks’, adding that the man’s heart function seems to have returned to normal nine months later but with ‘mildly impaired function’.
The recovered patient added his own thoughts to the article, saying: “When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.
“I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.”
He added: “I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.
“I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink.”
Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules
Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes
A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.
Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.
According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.
The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.
They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.
The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.
A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.
The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.
However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.
The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.
Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.
“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.
“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”
Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death
Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today
Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.
According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.
Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.
Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.
Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.
According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.
Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.
The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.
The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.
As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.