CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Police shut down New Year’s Eve rave in job centre – 30 minutes from midnight

'I overheard some of them engaging with the police and they kept saying: ‘Why are you ruining our fun?''

04 January, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Officers at the scene in the final hour of 2017

AN ILLEGAL New Year’s Eve rave was shut down in Archway by police who marched out hundreds of youngsters – a tantalising 30 minutes before the clock struck midnight.

Neighbours living near the now-mostly-empty Jobcentre reported seeing dozens of police officers descend on Elthorne Road after hundreds of teenagers had entered the building. Police said a 17-year-old who had attempted to enter the building from a neighbouring rooftop fell through a skylight and was taken to hospital, where he spent the rest of his New Year’s Eve. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Passer-by Ian Browne, who was walking to a friend’s house when he saw the police presence at around 10pm, said: “The average age of the party-goers looked 16 to 18. I overheard some of them engaging with the police and they kept saying: ‘Why are you ruining our fun?’”

He added: “There were loads of kids hanging around working out something to do. My thoughts were that the police presence seemed a bit disproportionate.”

Patricia Rybarczyk, who was at a friend’s house in Holloway Road, said there were more than 40 police officers gathered outside the Jobcentre building, which closed its counters last autumn but still offers basic services.

She said: “I was having dinner and we just started seeing all the police cars and there was quite a lot of noise. “Before the police, the mostly under-age youth had flooded into the building quite suddenly from Archway station. They were in their hundreds. No one was getting aggressive.”

No arrests were made after police were called at 9.30pm following reports of disorder. They seized music equipment and the revellers were forced out by 11.30pm.

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