LONDON — Thousands of people defied coronavirus restrictions to attend two illegal raves in Manchester in northern England, where one man died from a suspected drug overdose, police said on Sunday.
Around 4,000 people gathered for one of the Saturday night events where a 20-year-old man died of the suspected overdose, according to Greater Manchester Police.
Another 2,000 turned out for a second party which saw three separate stabbings, including one which left an 18-year-old man with life-threatening injuries, the force said.
Officers responding to that rave were met with violence from revelers, with items thrown at them and a police car vandalized, it added.
“These raves were illegal and I condemn them taking place — they were clearly a breach of coronavirus legislation and guidelines, and have had tragic consequences,” said assistant chief constable Chris Sykes.
#Raves around #Manchester last night attended by around 6k people – 1 death, 1 rape, 3 stabbings. We’re in the midst of a f**king pandemic! Those attending may be OK, but they can still kill family members. Grow up! #DaisyNook #Trafford #QuarantineRave https://t.co/J2sUTRLAPp pic.twitter.com/ASbyAEDVkl
— Martin Stevens (@MartinVelo18) June 14, 2020
“Coronavirus is still a threat and we will continue to engage with people to encourage them to take some personal responsibility and do the right thing.”
Britain introduced a nationwide lockdown in late March to try to stem the transmission of the virus, as the country became one of the worst impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has registered nearly 42,000 deaths of those who had tested positive for the disease.
The stringent stay-at-home order has only been gradually eased since late March, with gatherings of up to six people permitted outside, in parks or in private gardens, in England.