CHESHIRE Police is urging anyone considering attending an illegal rave this weekend to think twice.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of unlicensed music events across the country, with some resulting in serious physical and sexual assaults.

In Cheshire, there have been a handful of incidents reported so far, but the force says it is aware of intelligence suggesting that further events are planned for this weekend.

To combat this, officers are actively monitoring a number of sites and a warning has been issued about the serious consequences that attending will bring.

Superintendent Julie Westgate said: “I would urge anyone who is planning to attend an illegal rave to think twice.

“We have a dedicated policing operation in place and increased police presence across the county throughout the weekend.

“Our teams will be patrolling key locations and they will act on any intelligence they receive regarding any possible events.

“We know that people want to go out and socialise with friends, but everyone needs to remember that the coronavirus regulations are still in place.

“New cases of Covid-19 are being diagnosed in the local community every day and it’s essential that we all follow the national guidance, including social distancing, to help protect the NHS and save lives.

“Our officers will continue to use common sense and discretion to determine what is reasonable, with officers engaging, explaining, encouraging and, only as a last resort, enforcing.

“However, proportionate action will be taken if necessary and this could include the seizure of any music equipment, arrest or even prosecution.”

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane added: “I understand that it has been a difficult time for everyone, particularly young people who have been unable to socialise with friends due to Covid-19.

“However coronavirus has not gone away, and we all have a duty to ourselves and each other to stay safe, protect our NHS and save lives.

“I would urge anyone who is thinking of hosting or attending an illegal rave in Cheshire to stay away.”

Anyone with any information or intelligence in relation to any possible illegal raves is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 101.