Officers in Greenwich were granted heightened powers to disperse people after a unlicensed rave took place on the peninsula last night (October 10-11).

As in previous instances of such events happening, police worked under extra powers in the 'Section 35' element of the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, which allows them to break up crowds under certain circumstances.

Unlicensed or illegal raves fall into that category and so in the early hours of Sunday morning, sometime after 2am, Greenwich MPS announced they were implementing the Section 35 order.

The rave took place at an unknown location on the Greenwich Peninsula and police were handed dispersal powers over most of the peninsula in response.


As a spokesperson for the Met described on announcing the order late last night:

"Dispersal powers under S.35 Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 have been authorised for the entirety of Peninsula Ward, SE10 from 0235 hrs to 0800 hrs to assist us in dealing with an unlicensed music event."

An accompanying map showed the order covering all the peninsula ward from the river to beyond the Woolwich Road.

Police argue dispersal orders are sometimes necessary in order to carry out their work effectively but have also faced criticism.

A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looking at the use and impact of dispersal orders by police found that they were often used as a "symbolic response" by police to suggest action was being taken against perceived antisocial behaviour.

The same report found that dispersal tactics can "antagonise and alienate young people who frequently feel unfairly stigmatised for being in public places".