A SENIOR officer has warned people to stay away from large social gatherings such as illegal raves this weekend.
Supt Paul McCurry, operational support unit superintendent for South Yorkshire Police, said he urged people not to show up to such events and warned those that do would risk spreading coronavirus and would face the legal consequences of their actions.
Supt McCurry, silver commander for the force's Covid-19 response, said: "Under the current Covid-19 restrictions which remain in place, gatherings of seven or more people are against the law.
"These types of events should therefore not be happening.
"They hold very real, significant public health risks and our officers will be taking action against those found to be organising or attending them.
“We have powers under the Public Order Act to disperse, fine and prosecute people who arrange raves or attend them, and we can also seize equipment such as sound systems and speakers.”
Supt McCurry also asked organisers, and those considering attending, to think of the additional demand being placed on emergency services at this time.
He said: “The locations of raves can create added pressure.
"They can be difficult to get to and many prospective locations are at heightened risk of fire.
“I understand that a lot has been asked of the public in recent months, but it remains so important that where we can, we do not take unnecessary risks.
"Please think about what impact your actions could have, whether you’re thinking of organising an event or planning on attending one.
“You also expose yourself to risk by attending raves in locations you might not know.
"Getting home isn’t easy at the moment, with limited transport and other restrictions.”
Supt McCurry said the force has a good understanding about where these types of events may take place.
He added: “We will be carrying out extra patrols and we are working closely with partners and landowners to identify sites and secure them.
"If we see signs of an event being planned, set up, or taking place, our officers will be taking action.
“I would appeal to the public and landowners to be vigilant, if you see anything that is suspicious then I ask that you contact us.”