Posted: 19 Jul 20 - 21:37 BST by Mark
Thousands attend illegal rave at RAF Charmy Down near Bath
Police say they did not have the manpower to stop an illegal rave near Bath which attracted more than 3,000 partygoers through the night.
The event, at the former RAF Charmy Down airfield about three miles from the city, began late on Saturday.
People living as far away as Bristol complained they had been kept awake.
Avon and Somerset Police said despite officers arriving at the scene within minutes of being alerted there were already "many people at the site".
Ch Supt Ian Wylie said the force was aware a major gathering was likely this weekend, but it was able to pinpoint where it might take place.
Once officers were called to the former RAF station, he said, it was too late.
'No standing army'
"We got the call just after 23:00 (BST) and we were there within 10 minutes but all the stages were set up and all the music was already going with many, many people at the site," he said.
"It became impossible for us to do anything... because of the safety of those partygoers, many of whom were drunk, many of whom were on drugs, and the safety of the officers attending."
He said it was not possible to gather enough officers to disperse such a large number of people at that time of night.
"We don't have a standing army waiting to deal with these issues," he added.
In an earlier statement, Avon and Somerset Police said despite closing off approach routes, officers were still turning vehicles away on Sunday morning.
Ch Supt Wylie said the music was stopped just after 13:00 on Sunday and the site was eventually cleared three hours later.
Credit BBC News