Revellers attack riot police with bottles as they raided illegal warehouse party

News

Police were attacked with glass bottles as they forced their way into an illegal rave at a warehouse in Birmingham.

Officers with riot shields raided the party where around 150 revellers flouted lockdown rules in the Digbeth area of the city on Saturday night at around 9pm.

The rowdy crowd initially tried to barricade themselves inside the building, which is a former tea factory used in Steven Spielberg’s 2018 film Ready Player One, to stop police gaining access.

Four dog units arrived to control the crowd and once inside an officer was attacked.

A 36-year-old man was detained on suspicion of assault.

A female partygoer sustained a suspected broken ankle at the event.

Video footage shows the revellers dancing next to each other – flouting the two-metre social distancing advice from the government.

A DJ booth can also be spotted amongst the huge crowd before the cops moved in and broke up the party.

Everyone inside were slapped with a £200 fine for breaching coronavirus rules.

The sum must be paid within 28 days or they could face further action.

Because of social distancing, the partygoers were divided up and led out and dealt with in small group.

Police said they later recovered DJ equipment, Class A drugs and a knuckleduster from the building.

West Midlands Police has set up Operation Reliant to track down and fine all coronavirus restrictions breachers.

Police tweeted details of the incident in a tweet on Sunday morning.

They posted: “Op Reliant – An illegal rave in a disused warehouse in Digbeth was discovered tonight

“Around 150 people were inside, some started to thrown bottles at officers. The building was contained by Response WMP, Operational Support Unit, FSU_WMP and many others.

“All persons were lead out in small numbers. Their details were taken and fixed penalty notices were issued for breaching lockdown restrictions. The fine is £200 to be paid within 28 days.”

Chief Superintendent Andy Beard said: “This was not only illegal, but extremely dangerous for both those who attended and officers.

“It’s extremely disappointing that some are still not grasping that such events only increase the risk of spreading a deadly virus.

“We’re currently under national restrictions and the region will then go into the highest tier due to the number of Covid cases next week.

“It’s unacceptable when people recklessly ignore the rules and put themselves and others at risk of catching the disease. It’s also unacceptable that officers should be attacked while going about their duties.

“We’ve seized equipment, drugs and a weapon and we’ll be looking to ensure there will be no repeat again.”

Birmingham will be placed in Tier 3 once lockdown ends on Wednesday.

This is the strictest of the three tiers and means people and banned from socialising with other households indoors or outdoors.

Pubs and restaurants must stay closed but they are allowed to offer delivery and takeaways.