Police have thwarted a huge illegal rave potentially designed for more than a thousand people on moorland near Oldham.
Following a tip-off that a group of 30 to 40 young people were seen heading into Crompton Moor near Shaw, Greater Manchester last night, officers were dispatched to the scene.
They imposed a dispersal order and turned a number of others away as they arrived at the scene.
Officers also seized large speakers and are now trying to identify and track down the organisers.
They believe, due to the location of the planned rave, more than a thousand people could have attended the event, a clear breach of lockdown rules.
Residents called police at around 10.30pm yesterday to report that a group of 30 to 40 people were heading into Crompton Moor.
The unlicensed music event was organised even though it was only 6C at the time.
Chief Superintendent Chris Allsop said: “Obviously, people gathering like that are putting themselves in danger because of the terrain but putting the lives of loved ones in danger in terms of the on-going threat of Covid.
“It was clear the event was stopped before it started. Our focus was on the safety of people and to make sure nobody else arrived.
“We are determined to bring to account the people who organised it and brought people into danger.
“I would like to thank members of the public who enabled us to take such swift, early action.”
He described the actions of the organisers as ‘shameful’.
The region was blighted during the summer by a series of illegal lockdown raves in Carrington, Daisy Nook Country Park in Failsworth and in Moss Side that ended in violence.
Cheriff Tall, 21, and Abayomi ‘Junior’ Ajose, 36, were both shot dead during a lockdown party in a car park off Caythorpe Street in Moss Side in the early hours of June 21.
Oldham is one of the areas in England that has suffered most from coronavirus infections.
Between 15 and 21 November it had a rate of 383 per 100,000 population, which has decreased from 556 the previous week but was still the highest rate across Greater Manchester and is significantly higher than the England rate.
In October Oldham was recording around 1,750 new coronavirus infections a week.
Merseyside Police have also been clamping down on breaches of lockdown regulations.
The force says that it issued a number of fixed penalty notices overnight following reports of unlawful gatherings.
They included house parties and alcohol being served at licensed premises.
Officers were called to the Queens Arms on Blacklow Brow last night following reports of a number of people gathered inside and alcohol being served.
The licensee was issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid regulations.