The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UK

Some of the people who attended an illegal rave in woods in Banwen near Neath were cleaning up the site today. They explained that a removal truck had been booked to remove most of the mess and that they intended to leave the site completely clean before they departed. But some village residents said abandoned cars and mess had still not been removed from surrounding areas, including used toilet roll, face masks, clothing and small plastic bags.

The rave started in the early hours of Sunday in the  Neath Port Talbot  community, and was declared “over” by police on Monday night, August 31. Police said up to 3,000 people attended the illegal event, with hundreds still there on Monday afternoon. Police have issued 22 people with summons which could see them fined up to GBP10,000.

Ravers cleaning up on Tuesday The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKThey were seen putting rubbish in black bags on Tuesday The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKThe big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKHow the site looked on Tuesday morning

Some residents praised the people who had stayed behind to clean up, for doing a “good job” at clearing away the rubbish.

Local resident Eleri said the rave had been “no trouble whatsoever” for her and that those who attended were polite when she spoke to them. But not everyone was happy. Shane Cousins, 46, lives in Roman Road in Banwen, and said he couldn’t count the amount of vehicles parked along the road at the height of the rave and that he could still see human excrement and waste in the area despite clean-up efforts.

The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKRoman road resident Shane Cousins The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKEleri Evans The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKThe village of Banwen, near the site of an illegal rave is usually a very quiet community The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKThe Hillside area near the site of the illegal rave

He described how he overheard that people had come from areas such as Reading, Kent, Shrewsbury, Oxford, Torquay and even Scotland.

“From about midnight on Friday we were kept awake by cars going down the road. Traffic reached the main road and was still coming at 4am to 5am that morning even though cars aren’t allowed up there this time of year. They were prohibited since August 22,” said Mr Cousins.

“Today is the first time I have opened my downstairs windows since then and I can finally take my dogs for walks on the mountain. “It was absolutely disgusting. A girl tootied down behind my car on Friday night and when I asked her what she was doing she told me she was ‘having a slash’.

Another girl did exactly the same thing in the same place not long after. You can’t confront them all.”

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He added: “From Friday until Sunday, day and night, all you could hear was ‘boom boom boom’ all day and night. It was either music coming from the rave or from people blasting music in their cars.

“There were 3,000 of them and I saw none of them with masks on. You could hear them walking back and forth from the site in groups of 10s and 20s. “My 17-year-old daughter came across one of them standing in the middle of the road near the site and you should have seen the state of him, he was slumped over like a zombie and she was terrified.

I think he must have been on ketamine. “We are a small community, it’s so peaceful here. I regularly walk my dogs on that mountain and on nice days we can see all the way to St Clears.

It’s beautiful and this was disgusting. “There are still bags and human excrement down there today, as well as tampons and used loo roll in the bushes.”

The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKSome of the people raving at the site over the weekend The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UK

According to councillor Dean Cawsey, for the Onllwyn ward, one of the main concerns raised by residents was the risk of coronavirus spreading in a usually quiet community. “The last revellers left at around 9pm last night.

It’s looking pretty good around the place and we believe people involved with the rave did a bit of a litter pick. “Onllwyn Community Council are also going to do a litter pick just to give it one last sweep and to make sure the area is completely clean. “I spoke to people who live in the area and they highlighted some concerns that they had over the weekend.

“People are concerned that coronavirus will be brought into the area. It’s very quiet and small community and people have put in great efforts over the last few months to avoid a large outbreak. “People were also unhappy with the sheer volume of traffic and also the litter and potential drug paraphernalia being left behind – though I haven’t had many reports of that being the case.

“I can only praise the residents for how they handled it and also the police who made a big difference. “We were fortunate that the police were able to issue 22 fines to people believed to have been involved in organising the illegal unlicensed rave thanks to new Welsh Government legislation to prohibit such unlicensed events of more than 30 people, introduced only last Friday.”

The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKWhat appear to be gas cannisters on the rave site The big clean-up after the two-day illegal rave near Banwen attended by thousands from across the UKSadia Balfour and Adam F, who were cleaning up after the weekend rave

Member of the Senedd for Neath, Jeremy Miles, said residents were “understandably concerned about the risk of increased Covid transmission” because of the illegal gathering. He has contacted the chief executive of Swansea Bay University Health Board, Dr Tracy Myhill, over the bank holiday weekend to ask about the possibility of making a mobile coronavirus testing facility available to reassure any residents concerned.

In the latest statement from South Wales Police, Assistant chief constable Dave Thorne said: “We have taken really proactive action against those who organised this. “We responded as soon as we became aware of the event and we have had a police presence on-site day and night and I would like to reassure local communities we acted as robustly as we can and we will continue to do so. “We will now review footage of the event and if we can identify more offenders we will look to prosecute.

“It is extremely disappointing and disrespectful to our communities that we have had to deal with an event like this, not only on a busy weekend for the emergency services, but also during the coronavirus pandemic where legislation has been put in place to keep everyone safe. “Those gathering know that their actions are irresponsible and many travelled hundreds of miles to attend the event. We work tirelessly to uphold the law, but we cannot do this alone.

Personal responsibility is crucial.”

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