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Hunt for drug dealer after illegal rave

PUBLISHED: 06:10 29 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

DETECTIVES have launched a hunt to find the supplier of an Ecstasy tablet that left a woman in hospital after an illegal rave.

The female reveller, who has not been named, was being treated in Ipswich Hospital last night after taking a pill at Saturday night's event, which attracted 1,500 to a disused warehouse in the town.

DETECTIVES have launched a hunt to find the supplier of an Ecstasy tablet that left a woman in hospital after an illegal rave.

The female reveller, who has not been named, was being treated in Ipswich Hospital last night after taking a pill at Saturday night's event, which attracted 1,500 to a disused warehouse in the town.

The hunt came as an East Anglian MP pledged to look into whether the law could be changed to stop rave groups being able to set up events in private property without risk of prosecution.

Suffolk police said the event's organisers had broken into the building - formerly the Wallace Kings Home City premises at Orwell Retail Park in Ranelagh Road - and set up the rave at about 11pm.

They added the event continued past dawn the following day and a woman had to be taken to hospital after taking the Ecstasy tablet, but her condition was described last night as not life-threatening.

A 21-year-old man was also taken to hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning, while a 25-year-old man had his face slashed, but refused medical treatment.

The rave was staged by Colchester-based Pulse8 and one of the organisers, who would only give his name as Matt, said MPs should be trying to persuade local authorities to show raves more support.

"They should be trying to persuade councillors to look to providing us with venues so we can stage events like this," he added.

"At the moment we are just being pushed into expensive clubs. It's not bad to have fun. People don't want to go home at 2am – what's wrong with partying until 6am?"

Matt said by providing a permanent venue, Pulse8 would be able to work with the emergency services, local authorities and other rave groups to ensure premises were safe and events were run with less disruption to residents or businesses.

He added every venue picked for a rave was inspected and people with fire and medical experience were on hand throughout the event.

"Every venue we use is left open – we do not break in – so if property is left open, it's a potential target as we do not have legitimate premises. There will be some noise, but for about seven hours for one night, I don't think that's really much hardship.

"We cannot obviously pre-warn the emergency services, so we do the best we can, we will call an ambulance if we cannot deal with it," said Matt.

But he admitted ravers were not searched for drugs as that was considered a "blatant invasion of privacy".

Matt added: "A lot of people in the world take drugs and a lot of these people may or may not come to a party. You may go out to a pub and enjoy a beer, but you don't know if the person you are with has a habit or addiction."

Suffolk police and fire officers attended the Ipswich rave, but were unable to put a stop to the event, which continued until after dawn.

Loud amplified music angered nearby residents, who found the area littered with bottles and rubbish when they left their homes yesterday morning, and many neighbours criticised police for not being able to stop the illegal event.

Paul Hammond, 32, said: "It's unbelievable. I spoke to two policeman who told me they had not got the resources to deal with it and couldn't do anything about it. I've had no sleep and I am very angry about it."

Irene Wragg added: "Most of us have been up all night. I'm not a fuddy-duddy or a geriatric and I'm into music, but that was beyond a joke."

John Daley, who lives opposite Orwell Retail Park, said: "I heard the commotion, but when I looked out of the window, I saw two police vans and thought they would sort it out. But it was still pounding away at 7.30am, you could feel the vibrations."

His neighbour Andrew Bloom added: "I've got a three-year-old child who has not been able to sleep all night. I would have called the police, but everyone else had already done that."

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