§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers the police have(a) to refuse and (b) to control pop festivals on the Isle of Wight.
§ Mr. Maclean
The grant or refusal of a licence for such events is at the discretion of the local authorities concerned, but in coming to their decisions they are required to have regard to any observations submitted to them by the police or fire authority. Chief officers of police do not themselves have powers to refuse such an event.
Part V of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 gives the police a new power, where two or more people are making preparations, for a large-scale rave on land in the open air or where 10 or more people have gathered on a site to attend a rave which is likely to cause serious distress to the local community through amplified music being played during the night, to direct those people to leave the land. It is a criminal offence to ignore the direction.
These measures are specifically aimed at the public nuisance of unlicensed night time raves on land which can cause a great deal of distress to local residents.