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Illegal rave venue shut down bringing relief to residents

Police officers walking down stairs in a premises once used for illegal raves


A former office block in central London has been the subject of a closure order after endless illegal raves caused havoc for nearby residents with gatherings lasting over 14 hours, and music so loud it caused walls to shake.  

Westminster City Council officers and the Police became aware of issues with squatters in vacant Commercial offices in Mortimer Street, Marylebone, with several illegal raves or Unauthorised Music Events (UMEs) having taken place.

The premise’s landlord originally sought to obtain a Writ from court to stop squatters from inhabited the empty property. However, a delay in this being issued meant the Met Police and local authority intervened due to ongoing reports of thumping music, crowds of party goers under the influence of drugs and alcohol spilling out into the street and anti-social behaviour such as littering and public urination.

Consequently, the police served a Closure Notice which prohibited access to the property for 48 hours allowing residents nearby some respite. A Section 80 notice was served by the Council, allowing noise equipment to be seized if further anti-social behaviour continued. During this period, met police and council officers were able to safely access the property with the landlord and moved on three squatters, and secured the premises. A 24/7 security team remained on site to make sure nobody returned.

Following this, a court hearing took place on Thursday 22nd February at which a Closure Order was granted. This legally prohibited access to the premises by all persons except those specified in the order for a 3-month period. The Closure Order is a power within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The decision will allow some long overdue peace and quiet for residents who live nearby, allowing them to get their lives back to normal.

Following the closure order, one resident said:

Only when the 'venue' was closed and life returned to normal, I fully realised the impact it had on our lives, and how nice it is to be able to have uninterrupted sleep on weekends and be able to rest after a work week.”

“No loud music all night and well into the morning, no noise, no rubbish left by people attending the raves. It feels safe now.”

After a spike of UMEs during the first lockdown of 2020, events like this are luckily on the decline. However, the problem remains for residents with the council continuing to work with the police and local resident groups to identify cases and prosecute where necessary.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Children and Public Protection, Cllr Aicha Less said:

These illegal raves have caused huge disruption for these residents, turning their lives upside down.”

“I am grateful for the council’s hard work alongside the police to make sure this is resolved as soon as possible, and this sort of anti-social behaviour will not be returning.”

“If people see this sort of selfish and disrespectful behaviour happening, they should report it to the police as soon as possible or use the council’s report it service”.

Published: 15 March 2024