He was just about to light the barbecue and had not even turned on the music when the gazebo suddenly started flapping wildly and the sound of chopper blades filled the air.He should have played ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ to make them feel at home…
Eight officers wearing camouflage trousers and body armour jumped out and demanded that the 'rave' to be shut down.Which puzzled Mr Poole, because the ‘rave’ was just him and 15 pals…
Mr Poole said: 'We were nowhere near anyone. We weren't even playing any music. What effectively the police did was come in and stop 15 people eating burgers.'Because it seems that, stung by the recent criticism of their inactions in other forces in dealing with raves, they have decided to go all-out, full-bore crackers on even the hint of a gathering.
Having surveilled the situation with the force ‘Airwolf’ though, realised it’s a tiny bunch of 30 year olds having a barbecue under the sort of teeny marquee you can pick up for a fiver in ASDA, you’d think they would realise their error and call off the dogs.
But oh no:
Four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter were involved in the swoop on Andrew Poole's gathering for his family and friends.Obviously, crime is almost unheard of in this rural paradise…
What sparked their interest?
The party was organised using the create an event facility on Facebook.Why? It clearly wasn’t a rave, as initially suspected.
Mr Poole, a coach driver, said he invited 17 family and friends and two had not even arrived by the time the helicopter was whirring overhead.
Mr Poole said: 'All of a sudden there was this noise in the sky. The thing then hovered over us for about 25 minutes, watching 15 people eat. They told us to take down the sound system and said everybody's got to leave.
What law were they breaking, then, other than – of course – ‘making the police look like a bunch of clueless, hysterical, tooled-up knobs’?
'It was 4pm and we hadn't even plugged the music in yet. We tried to reason with them but they were having none of it.'Oh, that was a mistake…
And of course, they are, even in the cold light of day, when everyone’s laughing at them, totally unrepentant:
Yesterday, police insisted they were right to end the party. 'We were extremely concerned how the event had been advertised on the internet as an all-night party,' a spokesman said.Somehow, I just knew the Internet would get the blame….