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UK Police Raid Party After Seeing "All-Night" Tag On Facebook 628

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently the police like to spend their time trawling our private information on Facebook looking for criminals. 'Riot police stormed a man's 30th birthday barbecue for 15 guests because it was advertised as an "all-night" party on Facebook. Four police cars, a riot van, and a force helicopter were dispatched to a privately-owned field in a small village near Sowton, Devon in the UK on Saturday, ordering the party shut down or everyone would be arrested. The birthday barbecue was busted up before they even had a chance to plug the music in, reports the BBC. It was about 4pm when eight officers with camouflage pants and body armor jumped out of their vehicles and ordered everyone out about an hour into the party.' The event's organizer, Andrew Poole, said, 'The police had full-on camouflage trousers on and body-armour, it was ridiculous. There were also several plain-clothes officers as well ... they kept on insisting it has been advertised it as an all-night rave on the internet. The times on it were put as "overnight" in case people wanted to sleep-over, but after being explained this they were still banging on saying it was advertised on the internet. They wouldn't accept it wasn't a rave. It was in a completely isolated field.'"
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UK Police Raid Party After Seeing "All-Night" Tag On Facebook

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  • What a good idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:17AM (#28738611) Journal

    Instead of keeping people you know to possibly be intoxicated confined to an event all night where they can only do harm to themselves (if even), let's break these gatherings up so some of these people get intoxicated elsewhere, and have to drive home early.

    Raving is not a crime.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:20AM (#28738617) Journal
    I, for one, will be tagging every Facebook event I list from now on as an all-night party in Sowton, Devon, UK. I encourage you to do the same.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:30AM (#28738659)

    'Had it gone ahead, it is likely that far more of our resources would have been used to police the event and there would have been considerable disruption to neighbouring properties.

    That's from a spokeswoman of the police there.

    I mean seriously, you're gonna say that because it's easier to make people stop doing something that you have suspicion it might be illegal it's better to mess up a tax paying citizen's freedom?

    To loosely quote Sam Vimes of Discworld, "It's better to say we caught the guy what done it instead of saying we caught the guy who looked like he'd do it. Especially when they say, Prove it."


    'It was fortunate that the force helicopter was able to fly over the site as they were returning from another task.'

    Really. In the same article the spokewoman says that it cost them 200 pounds to deploy the helicopter for 20 minutes. The birthday boy spent 800 pounds to get his party RUINED by the police. Fuck you guys, seriously. What the fuck.

  • by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:35AM (#28738673) Journal

    Honestly, what's the justification for this nonsense? Are the local constabularies that bored? And what the hell was with the SWAT-like response? Do they seriously think Osama bin Laden is going to turn up and spin techno for three hours?

    It would be interesting to see if there were any political connections--local officials in this country have been known to use almost almost identical "SWAT-like" tactics [] to break up an opponent's fund raiser, for example.

    The "we thought it was a rave" BS would make a lot more sense as a cover for some stronger (but presently obscure) motive.

    -- MarkusQ

  • by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:37AM (#28738693)

    Well, if you want your silver lining then there's always the slutty girls at raves. Slutty girls are a big plus anywhere. Just be sure to wrap it.

  • Re:Wow (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:00AM (#28738801)

    There's the rub. If it were a real rave, it wouldn't have an obvious tag like all-night on it. Raver's use a cryptolect for a reason. Apparently the cops think the ravers are as dumb as they are.

  • Re:What a good idea (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:19AM (#28738897)

    Sadly, the only thing that will probably happen in that case is the cop getting a two week paid vacation- erm, I mean suspended a couple weeks with pay.

  • by Inda ( 580031 ) <> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:42AM (#28738965) Journal
    Probably arrested under the Criminal Justice Bill.

    I went on two London marches to fight against this bill 15 years ago. They were determined to stop us having free parties, "Illegal Raves" as the media called them. No conveys of more than 6 cars, no parties in fields, no freedom to enjoy life without corporate involvement. In my eyes, this is where CCTV Britain started. This was the start of anti-social laws. The nanny state.

    These parties still go on though. Fuck the police.
  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:47AM (#28738979)

    read that again... breathe... there.... you got it, champ.

    step one to being a successful "criminal": don't advertize whatever illegal stuff you're going to do...

    and no, facebook is not private...

  • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:30AM (#28739123) Journal

    Bullshit. Oppressive regimes get overthrown. Not by people like you, of course.
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 117 ( 1013655 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:32AM (#28739133)

    Just a small example: Prodigy - Out of Space []

    Indeed, The Prodigy wrote the track Their Law [] in direct response to the passing of this law.

  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:45AM (#28739177)

    Check this [] - in the USA they use police that look like the military, the whole guns and armour thing to break up their parties... so looks like its the same both sides of the pond.

  • by anthony.vo ( 1581427 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:47AM (#28739191)
    How do you explain the whole "police had full-on camouflage trousers on and body-armour" deal then? BBC (YOUR newspaper) said four cruisers, and a RIOT van arrived after the police helicopter watched fifteen people grilling and eating. This was in a private field and nothing illegal was happening. Instead, they took drastic measures by controlling people to stop a "potential" crime from happening. Kinda like in that one book by Orwell.
  • Re:This just in..... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:58AM (#28739223)

    private information on Facebook

    Idiots think putting information on internet is private.....

    Yeah seriously, you and I know when you put things out in the open where anyone who wants to break in can do it, it's de facto public information. Like how you clearly intend to share the contents of your home with the rest of the world (your second floor window was really easy to open from the outside BTW), since basically the whole world can see into your home if they just get within a couple blocks and have some binoculars. I helped myself to the thong underwear in your wife's panty drawer, by the way, I'm sure you don't mind.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:00AM (#28739227)

    As the (winning) republican in the district said, "If that's how she handles leadership at her own events, how could you trust her with running a country?"

    Yeah... I think it is pretty foolish to cite a quote from the one person with the most to gain by portraying the situation in the absolutely worst possible light. Unless of course you aren't interested in making a convincing argument but rather just showing support for your team.

    Pfft. If you've read about the Busby affair, the dems in question were acting like little princesses and attacked a sheriff. They deserved to get pepper sprayed for their idiocy.

    Once a cop starts acting in an illegal manner - he assaulted a woman for refusing to state her birthdate, something perfectly within her right per a recent SCOTUS ruling - he loses all special privileges afforded his position. Sure it may be legally wise to continue to "respect his authority" but ethically not so much. In fact, the crowd's response to try to pull the assaulted woman away from the rogue officer could easily be the more ethical response.

    And of course this all ignores the elephant in the room - who called in the noise complaint in the first place? The one reported to have complained about not just a "loud party" but a "loud democrat fundraiser." All of the immediate neighbours that were in town at the time have denied it and the police have refused to release any information - not just the caller's identity but even the tape itself.

  • Re:What a good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AGMW ( 594303 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:09AM (#28739265) Homepage
    If it was me, and they didn't have a warrant, I've asked them politely to leave and shot them dead if they displayed armed force and refused.

    Unfortunately the UK Police also have new(ish) anti-terrorism laws that pretty much allow them to do whatever the hell they like! They just have to say something like "I am arresting you under the 2000blah-de-blah anti-terrorism laws" or somesuch. They don't have to say WHY they suspect you before or after they arrest you. They can keep you locked up for days!

    There was a story about some woman on the underground who was approached by some particularly fiesty female cop who asked if she could check the woman's handbag. She asked why? The fem-Cop said something like she didn't need to say why, and if she wanted she could arrest the woman under these anti-terrorism laws and drag her arse off to the cop-shop ...

    Mostly, the UK is a great place to live, but we are most definately on the slippery-slope and it's sometimes a bit worrying!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:17AM (#28739293)

    Some guy posted an event on Facebook to have a drink on a public square here in Ghent (Belgium). The event was marked as 'open', and on the proposed evening, not really expected, hundreds of people showed up on the square with bottles of booze.

    The reaction of the mayor wasn't to break up the party, but instead to send a team to place extra garbage bins and a handful of cops to keep an eye on things. They looked up the original poster of the event, had a talk with the guy and eventually even dropped their idea of charging him for the extra costs and paid it with city money.

    Gave a good feeling that there are still governments left with a sense of humor.

  • Pre-Crime (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Necroloth ( 1512791 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:42AM (#28739393)
    Just though of Minority Report with people being busted before the crime is committed... the precogs must still be in training and aren't fully functional yet.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:33AM (#28739553)

    Possibly you did. All night events in fields with music "characterised by a repetitive beat" aka "Raves" were made illegal by Margaret Thatcher's government back in the 1980s.

    Bad law, but a law never the less.

    As to this story, the question is who to believe. Clearly the police saw it to be a rave in the process of preparation. 15 people in a field at 4pm could indeed be preparations for a rave that night. The give away would be what kit was there. Was the not-yet-turned on music equipment a portable CD player, or a full on gig sound system. Did they have a couple of torches (flashlights) with them or a DJ lighting system.

    Whilst it's naive to automatically assume that the police were acting honestly and responsibly, it's even more naive to assume that these people were just having a small family barbecue in a field just because they say they are.

    The rational response for intelligent people is to say the story doesn't have enough information to just who is right and who is wrong. Photos would help.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:10AM (#28739663)
    And fuck everybody who lives within a 5 mile radius. I, and 5 neighbours, used to live within 1/2 a mile of a rave field. We were the only houses, so hey, it's only a minority of people who have to stay up all night comforting their 8 month old daughters who can't sleep. If people like you had some consideration for others then these laws wouldn't have been passed. It's not all about you, you know.
  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:11AM (#28739665)

    So you are the naive type of the second sort. Taking the word of the person who was stopped by the police, as retold by the Daily Mail of all things. (Are you British, do you actually know that paper?)

    You even got your reporting of what he claimed wrong, he didn't say he invited 17 people, he said 17 people "had confirmed", on Facebook. If you have any experience of events advertised on facebook, you'll know that the number of people who find out that way and actually bother to RSVP a confirmation is the tip of the iceberg of the people who go to the event.

    Now read between the lines. He talks about "taking down a sound system". For 17 people? Ridiculous. He talks of hiring a generator and a marquee. He says he spend £800 on the event. >£50 per person for a barbeque? Ridiculous.

    You are very naive.

  • Re:A little trust (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:48AM (#28739789)

    Those "kids", ages 15-25 back then are now the main money earners in the UK, the 40-50 year olds. Interesting that there's no backlash from the criminal justice bill among them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:51AM (#28739797)

    I still remember that event quite well. It was on the news about the Police attacking the Peace Convoy and me and a friend hitched down from sheffield to show support for the peace convoy.
      We got as far as the roundabout with the turn off to stonehenge, where we were told if we went in that direction we would be arrested as the area was placed under martial law.

    As we pondered what to do next an ole volkswagon combi van pulled up and we ran and jumped in, where we were taken up to the forest where what remained of the peace convoy were.

    The Police wanted to come in to the Forest but couldn't get permission to do so.

    The actions of the Police that day and many other days was criminal, but the Police being the Police were above the law.

    We saw the same sort of actions taken against the miners during the miners strike and now frameworks are in place such as the asbo to make even legal actions illegal. While asbo's can be justified, using them to clear homeless people from central London in preparation for the 2012 Olympics doesn't seem right.

    Britains got to the state where if you want to do something, protest against climate change whatever, its going to be dangerous to your health and well being. The Police will do as they like when they can get away with it.

    It's pretty much been like that most of my adult life, provided you keep your head down and don't do anything to get noticed you will largely be ok.

    I'm so glad I got out of the UK

  • Re:legal options (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @08:33AM (#28739951)

    He can make a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. A department so independent it's run by a bunch of policemen.

  • Good grief!

    I think making sure a rave is safe is a good idea, after what happened to the people with the lasers a while back, but otherwise, what's the harm?


    Between the US and UK, what the fuck is going on?

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.