We arrested four men and seized DJ equipment after attending a wooded area in Rainford overnight following reports of an illegal rave.
Police identified the site of the gathering which occurred in private land near New Cut Lane/Coach Road, close to Rainford, the M58 and Kirkby.
Officers were deployed to key routes into the woodland, including roads and rural land, as a large number of young people were seen on the site and attempting to gain entrance from around 8pm. Police turned away around 200 people in vehicles and on foot.
The East Lancs Road was closed at its junctions with Catchdale Moss Lane and Coopers Lane to deter further attendees from gaining access in vehicles, and a dispersal order was introduced covering the area of woodland.
At around 5.30am, when the majority of people had dispersed, four males were seen by officers packing up DJ equipment.
They were arrested on suspicion of Section 5 public order offences, causing a public nuisance and were provided with dispersal order notices. They have been taken into custody and DJ equipment, lighting and lasers seized.
A further 15 dispersal notices were provided, 12 people dealt with for drugs offences, 10 dispersal zone notices issued, and 15 Covid-19 tickets issued.
A significant amount of rubbish, alcohol containers and evidence of drug misuse was located and the site.
Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine said: “All those attending have put themselves and others in the community at significant risk. Not only have they risked catching and spreading the coronavirus, but due to the numbers of people consuming of drugs and alcohol in dark woods, somebody could have quite easily got seriously hurt or worse. Indeed it was reported one male sustained a broken leg, one female a broken ankle and another female suffered burns to her legs.
“Government guidance still states that we must continue social distancing, that we must only meet in groups of six at most, and act sensibly. Clearly, those attending this rave took no heed whatsoever of that.
“They also left behind a huge amount of rubbish which will now have to be removed. It is clear that the organisers and those attending care very little for public health, the community surrounding them or indeed their own safety.
“It is particularly disappointing that some of those attending purported to be protesting against the lockdown in order to make a vain attempt to legitimise their attendance at the rave.”
Chief Supt Waine added: “Having to deal with these sorts of unnecessary incidents puts an extra strain on both police and our partners, at a time when all key workers face a huge challenge to join the national effort to beat this pandemic while continuing to protect the public.
“A dispersal zone remains in place at the site today and our local officers will conduct high visibility patrols of the area to prevent gatherings like this happening again.
“Finally, I want to appeal directly to everyone who attended this rave, to pause and think about their actions.
“Please continue to follow guidance in place to protect yourselves and others. If you are a parent or guardian, please ask where your child is going and who they’re meeting up with. If we all pull together, we will be able to return to normality a lot sooner
“Anyone with information on who organised this event, who attended, any future planned similar events or information connected with the two assaults is asked to get in touch or contact @CrimestoppersUK completely anonymously.”