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Police return to old Hampstead base to shut down illegal Halloween rave with 800 revellers

PUBLISHED: 12:08 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:33 02 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

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The old Hampstead Police station in Rosslyn Hill was the scene of an illegal Halloween rave on Saturday night.

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

Around 800 young people flocked to the long-empty premises and partied until police returned to their old local base to shut things down at around 2am on November 1.

Camden Police tweeted at 4am on Sunday: “The former Hampstead Police Station, 26 Rosslyn Hill, NW3 was closed by police tonight, following a large scale unlicensed music event, causing disruption and anti-social behaviour to local residents.”

Witnesses reported seeing hundreds of revellers streaming up the hill, and said music was playing for “about half an hour” before the Met stepped in.

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: “If you think the next few days are an excuse to break the rules, think again. You will get caught, we will take action and impose the maximum sanctions.

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“Not only are UMEs unsafe for many reasons but they brazenly disregard the current Covid-19 restrictions. As well as music events there were numerous gatherings which flout the rule of six.

“The majority of the public have had to make sacrifices during this time, we will not let those who think they are above the law get away with this selfish behaviour.”

Susan West, who chairs the Hamptead Town Safer Neighbourhood Panel said she was looking to find out more about the incident and: “What I’d like to see is the organiser get the potential £10,000 fine.”

At this stage it is believed that seven arrests took place at an event in Poplar, but it is unclear whether anyone was detained in Hampstead.

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 the incident highlighted why buildings shouldn’t be left empty. They said: “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 pair said allowing Abacus to take over the site could prevent antisocial behaviour.

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 on behalf of the school’s parent trust and the DfE.


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