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Hampstead police station rave: Police review footage to identify how 800-strong Halloween party began

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:00 05 November 2020

Hundreds spill into Downshire Hill during an unlicensed music event at the old Hampstead Police Station. Picture: Jamie Edwards

Hundreds spill into Downshire Hill during an unlicensed music event at the old Hampstead Police Station. Picture: Jamie Edwards

Archant

“Squatters” breaking into the empty Hampstead police station led to the mass rave in Rosslyn Hill on Halloween, according to a senior police officer.

A huge 'illegal rave' at the old Hampstead Police station on Halloween 2020. Picture: Jamie EdwardsA huge 'illegal rave' at the old Hampstead Police station on Halloween 2020. Picture: Jamie Edwards

Acting Inspector Dave Hodges told this newspaper investigators looking into how the unlicensed music event (UME) began are hoping to identify its organisers by examining the footage on police officers’ body-worn video cameras.

Late on Saturday and early on Sunday neighbours report seeing hundreds of people streaming up the hill into the heart of Hampstead, and hearing music for “about half an hour” before the time police called a halt to proceedings.

READ MORE: 800 revellers flock to old Hampstead police station for Halloween rave

A/Insp Hodges said: “The call to police came in just before 1am. At its busiest it was between 800 and 1000 people.

“We are now trying to review body-worn camera to try to identify those behind it.

“We believe that squatters got into the old police station and that’s where this began.”

Camden Council’s community safety chief, Cllr Nadia Shah, emphasised the importance of abiding by lockdown rules.

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She said: “As hospitalisations and deaths continue to rise in London, it is absolutely vital that everyone takes the virus seriously and follows the public health advice to keep themselves safe, to protect the most vulnerable members of our community and to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed.”

In response to 11 breaches of social distancing regulations at similar unlicensed music events (UMEs) across London, Scotland Yard released a statement slamming the behaviour.

Commander Ade Adelekan said: “Not only are UMEs unsafe for many reasons but they brazenly disregard the current Covid-19 restrictions.”

The police station closed in 2013 and was then purchased by the Department for Education (DfE) as a future home for Abacus Belsize Primary School.

Cllrs Luisa Porritt and Tom Simon (both Lib Dem, Belsize) said in a statement: “Leaving buildings empty makes them a magnet for antisocial behaviour, as the events that took place at the old Hampstead police station on Saturday night prove.”

The school has not moved in yet – with Camden Council having rejected a planning application to convert the premises and change its use.

A planning inspector is currently determining an appeal. The DfE declined to comment, saying this was a matter for the police.

Did you attend the unlicensed on Saturday night? Contact reporter Sam Volpe by email at sam.volpe@archant.co.uk


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