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Stortford illegal silent disco: Police arrest woman in London

Police investigating an unlicensed silent disco in Bishop’s Stortford which attracted 300 people in breach of Covid lockdown rules have arrested a 50-year-old woman.

Officers from the East Herts Scorpion team of Hertfordshire Constabulary detained the woman in south-west London on Friday (September 11) on suspicion of money laundering and offences against the Licensing Act 2003.

During a subsequent search of an address, evidence was seized as part of an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in relation to the rave, which took place in a unit on the Twyford Road industrial estate on the night of Sunday and Monday August 30-31.

Officers who attended the event let it go ahead after they were initially told guests were gathering to celebrate a wedding.

Police have since secured a court closure order for the unit in question, which means anyone who enters the building in the next three months can be arrested.

Investigators are now seeking to have funds believed to have been made by organisers of the event frozen.

A spokeswoman for Herts Constabulary said: "The arrest of this female is just the start of an investigation of the wider network behind the event, which included a specialised sound system and the unlawful sale of alcohol."

Chief Inspector Stuart Orton, the policing commander for East Herts, said: “In the current climate with Covid circulating ever more virulently in the community, and the latest legislative changes from the Government regarding the permitted size of gatherings, it is imperative that the public abide by social distancing regulations. Breaches will be dealt with robustly and to the full extent of the law.”

Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge added: “This is clear evidence that Hertfordshire Constabulary will pursue relentlessly and bring to justice any offenders who intend to organise similar events across Hertfordshire.”

If you have information about a planned unlicensed event such as a rave, tell police as soon as possible so that they can take action. Apart from the obvious sign of posters or social media messages advertising a large gathering, the signs to spot, even if they seem minor or insignificant, and inform police are:

  • Cropped bolts on gates
  • Flattened or disturbed hedgerows
  • People in vehicles stopping to look into a field
  • People climbing over a fence or gate to look into a field
  • Vehicles entering fields or open spaces
  • People unloading sound equipment

You can report information online at herts.police.uk/report , via an online webchat at herts.police.uk/contact or call 101. If you believe a crime is in action or someone’s life is in danger, then always dial 999.

You can tell police what matters most to you about policing, crime or anti-social behaviour in Hertfordshire using echo. Go to bit.ly/herts-echo and have your say.

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