Another one of my ramblings but this time about the police clamping down on free parties.

Although my response came to an article originally written in the Lancashire Evening Post, the original also appeared in the Lancashire Telegraph which is where I wrote a response about the police stopping free raves in the countryside. Read the original article which provoked my letter here: Illegal rave organisers fined

Here is my letter, which although annoyingly did not appear in the print version of the LEP, at least made it to the Online section, and also sub paper online news sites including Wigan Today.

The letter was published on Thursday 21 October 2010 by Wigan Today and also the Lancashire Evening Post Online:

THE laws that are in place to stop raves from taking place around the UK, have been in existence for 15 years. What the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, said when he imposed them, was that councils would co-operate with rave organisers so they could apply for licenses for these outdoor events.

We now live in a more health and safety conscious environment and getting licenses is complex.

Raves do have the potential to cause disturbances but talk of violence stems from prejudice against this group of people.

They are not the same people you find in a city on a Saturday night. Violence is far more prominent in city centres across Lancashire at night and is fuelled by alcohol.

This is the sort of violence and criminal activity which the police should be attending to regularly, not maximising their resources in stopping raves. The outdoor rave scene was never associated with violence in the first place. It is an alternative for people seeking to move away from what our leisure industry offers.

It is a shame that the police regard it as a coup to seize sound equipment and generators. It is taking a person’s livelihood. Generators and turntables are hardly in the same league as guns and knives and it is ludicrous that they can be seized in the same context.

Society cannot afford to wipe out such groups of people. On the contrary, the organisers need help putting on these events. One good example is Beat Herder in the Ribble Valley, a three day music festival in July which mainly consists of dance music but has acoustic stages as well.

Dan Birch, via email