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Police explain why they didn’t break up the two illegal raves in Greater Manchester this weekend

They’ve released a statement.

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gmpolice / Twitter

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. 

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New government proposals could see cat owners fined £500

Here’s everything you need to know…

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@vnevremeni & @little_plants / Unsplash

Cat owners could be slapped with hefty fines under a subtle new rule change proposed by the government this week.

The new plans propose that all cat owners must ensure their pet is microchipped before they are twenty weeks old – there, the cat’s details will be stored and kept up-to-date in a database.

If a cat owner is found to not have microchipped their cat, however, they will have twenty-one days to get their pet microchipped or risk facing a fine of up to £500. 

@little_plant / Unsplash

Government figures show that out of the 10.8 million pet cats in the UK, as many as 2.8 million are still not microchipped. And, according to Cats Protection, eight out of ten stray cats coming into their centres are not microchipped.

The charity added that the procedure only costs between £20 and £30.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.

“These new rules will help protect millions of cats across the country and will be brought in alongside a range of other protections we are introducing under our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”

Paul Hanaoka / Unsplash

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy and Government Relations, also stressed the importance of microchipping, adding: “Every day, we see how important microchipping is for cats and for the people who love them.

“Whether it’s reuniting a lost cat with their owner, identifying an injured cat, or helping to ensure an owner can be informed in the sad event that their cat has been hit and killed by a car.

“Microchipping is by far the most effective and quickest way of identifying lost cats and can help ease the pressure on rescue charities like Cats Protection. Without a microchip, a lost cat will most likely end up being rehomed to a new home as there is often no trace of their original owner.”

The new rules, which have been announced as part of the government’s ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’, won’t come into place until an official review has been completed.

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Chill Factore forced to close after section of roof damaged by Storm Barra

Major damage to the roof has forced the popular attraction to close

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@stefm84 / Twitter

The Chill Factore has been forced to close after a section of its roof was damaged from severe winds brought on by Storm Barra. 

All activities at the Beyond building, which houses an indoor ski slope, have been cancelled for the rest of the day, with car parks surrounding the Trafford attraction closing ‘with immediate effect’. 

In a statement on its website, Chill Factore said: “The Beyond building has sustained some damage due to the severe winds.

“As a result we’ve made the difficult decision to close our building and surrounding car parks with immediate effect to protect the health and safety of our guests and team.

“All activities for the remainder of the day have been cancelled and we are in the process of contacting guests with bookings for today to rearrange their activities.

“We are awaiting contractors to come and assess the damage and we will provide more information as soon as possible through our website & social media accounts.”

This comes after the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning in various areas across Greater Manchester ahead of the arrival of Storm Barra.

@adventurecat__ / Instagram

The second named storm of the season hit the region today, bringing with it plummeting temperatures plummeting and heavy rainfall.

Forecasters say travel disruption is ‘likely’, especially over higher routes, as is delays to rail and air travel. There is also the ‘slight chance some rural communities may become cut off’. 

The Met Office said: “A deep area of low pressure moving in across the UK from the Atlantic is likely to bring high winds to many parts of the UK.

“Strong winds arriving into the west through the morning, spreading inland and reaching eastern areas through the afternoon and early evening. Gusts of 45-50 mph are expected widely, with 60-70 mph in exposed coastal locations.

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People who kill children will face mandatory life sentences under new Arthur’s Law

The law has been named after six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was murdered by his stepmother last year

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@BorisJohnson / Twitter

The Prime Minister has backed a newly proposed law that will ensure child murderers will never leave prison.

Following the horrifying death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, Boris Johnson has announced that his government will be amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to make ‘whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes’. 

Johnson said in a statement: “Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison. So we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes.

“The Attorney General is also urgently considering the facts of this case and the sentence handed down, but this is a Government that will always legislate for the toughest possible sentences for such repugnant crimes.”

Arthur’s stepmother Emma Tustin was jailed last week for at least twenty-nine years for his murder, while his father Thomas Hughes was sentenced to twenty-one years for manslaughter.

However, the attorney general announced over the weekend that the sentences are to be reviewed to ‘determine whether they were too low’. 

According to The Guardian, the AGO has twenty-eight days from the date of sentence to review a case, assess whether it falls under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme and make a decision as to whether to refer a sentence to the court of appeal. 

West Midlands Police

Arthur died in Solihull, Midlands on June 16th 2020, as a result of a serious head injury inflicted by Tustin. His body was also covered in 130 bruises.

It was later discovered that the six-year-old had been starved, beaten and poisoned with salt in the weeks leading to his death.

Harrowing footage recently released by West Midlands Police show a weak and emancipated Arthur struggling to lift his duvet from the living room floor, where he had been forced to sleep. 

Social worker and member of the House of Lords Herbert Laming said the reduction in funding for social care in the last ten years meant abused and neglected children like Arthur were being missed by the authorities. 

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