Facebook police raided my family barbeque

By ThirdEyeFloond · Jul 18, 2009 · ·
  1. ThirdEyeFloond
    Riot police stormed a 30th birthday party for just 15 people and shut it down, thinking it was a rave because it was advertised on Facebook.

    Four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter were involved in the swoop on Andrew Poole's gathering for his family and friends.

    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.

    Eight officers wearing camouflage trousers and body armour jumped out and demanded that the 'rave' to be shut down.

    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.'

    Grilling within tent: The gazebo police said was intended to host a wild rave

    The party was organised using the create an event facility on Facebook.

    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.

    '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.'

    Mr Poole said he spent £800 on food and a generator.

    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.


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  1. Alfa
    With stories like this its a shame they did not publish the names of the police officers.
  2. chillinwill
    LOL that's a good use of taxpayer's money. Sounds like the typical type of police officer who and government who wants to be "tough on drugs". What's even more funny, no drugs were present. I bet those officers now either feel like a bunch of dumbasses or they feel like they did the public a good thing by shutting down a BBQ.
  3. bman1
    that is funny. good that know one got in trouble and police look a little stupid. Swib wonders what the facebook page looked like. How did they get permission to do that without much evidence?
  4. UberDouche
    Apparently partying all night is now a concern to the police. What's next? Sleeping in too late?
  5. Sven99
    Something doesn't add up.

    A 30th Birthday party for 15 people, and £800 on food and a generator? Call me unconvinced.
  6. runitsthepolice
    Agreed. This smells like kop busters or similar.

    We have to see the facebook event page in order to really know whats going on here.
  7. podge
    Swim doesnt see whats so unbelievable about this, not too sure how much it costs for a generator for a night but 800 bucks divided by 15 = 53.30 bucks per person for - food, beers, power ..... seems a bit expensive alright but relatively reasonable. Even if a couple of hundred bucks are unnacounted for, its still not enough money to fund some sort of drug fuelled rave....maybe a bag of weed or something but nothing that warrants a police helicopter and raid.
  8. Rightnow289
    If you include alcohol with food and generator that isn't a large amount for 17 people drinking all night I don't think.

    Funny story though the waste of taxpayers money is astonishing
  9. Nature Boy
    I'm reading this article blinking in amazement. Haven't police got anything better to do than scanning people's Facebook accounts speculating over whether a 'rave' is about to take place. I'll bet it was that single word that triggered their investigations. Oh, a rave. How horrible!! What next, strip searches at a soiree?
  10. Routemaster Flash
    Let's be generous and assume 'food' means 'food and booze'. And I've never hired a generator, so I have no idea how much that would cost - could easily be a couple of hundred quid by itself.

    Or maybe the guy who organised it just exaggerated his expenses to make the police look extra bad. Given the circumstances, I wouldn't really blame him...
  11. Phil123
    is this in america??
    i heard thy are strict on stuff like that,

    where im from (UK) police pretty much condone stuff like that just to keep 'youths' off the streets.

    shame they had to spoil peoples fun
  12. Sven99
    You can buy a jenny for a couple hundred quid. If they were hiring one it'd be a decent chunk less than that. For booze we're talking off-license prices. So even if they spent £300 on a jenny and £150 on food, thats still £350's worth of alcohol. For non UK folk, that'd be 25 litres of spirits or maybe 500 cans of beer.

    I'm not saying that something dodgy was going on - I don't think we have enough info to say. But it doesn't really add up.

    Incidentally, the police have really hideously draconian powers when it comes to breaking up raves, or dispersing gatherings that they suspect may become raves in the UK. If there's music playing, or the potential for music to be playing, they can treat it as an illegal rave and move people on.
  13. anonuser30500
    Maybe the 'money for food' also included the money for a few 'extras'.

    Some here would spend £800 on drugs in a weekend, no bother.
  14. Venusia
    What a sad state of affairs when one can't even have a BBQ birthday party without the cops trying to bust someone. What an enormous embarrassment for the police. Poor guy.
  15. Synesthesiac
    What I'm more confused about is how they knew in the first place. You have to be a friend of someone to view info like this on facebook, I thought. Or does facebook give draconian exceptions to authority figures to go snooping on anyones page? Anyone know?

    ....suppose they could always use the veil of "national security" or the "terrorism" laws as an excuse to view whatever they want.
  16. runitsthepolice
    According to the facebook terms of service, anything you put up there is their property and they can do with it as they like. They sell this information in a non personal way to advertisers. They also send you ads based on whats on your page.

    Police have facebook accounts. They can then see any information that isn't set to "secret" just like billions of other people. It makes sense that this was a public event. If it was a secret event and police still found out about it then thats a big problem... deleting ones facebook seems like the only reasonable course of action.
  17. fnord
    Riot police raided a 30th birthday barbecue because they thought the organiser, who had invited his friends via Facebook, was staging a rave.
    Four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter moved in on Andrew Poole's gathering which was taking place in a field owned by a friend.
    The coach driver had invited 17 guests to an 'event' on his social networking page by private invitation and was about to light the barbecue when the gazebo suddenly started flapping wildly and the sound of chopper blades filled the air.
    A police helicopter circled the field several times before four police cars and a riot van stormed into the field in a small village near Sowton, Devon.
    Eight officers wearing camouflage trousers and body armour then jumped out and ordered the party to be shut down or everyone would be arrested.
    Andrew, of Exeter, Devon, said: 'It had started to rain so we had gone in under the gazebo. All of a sudden there was this noise in the sky - I honestly couldn't believe it.
    '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.
    'It was 4pm and we hadn't even plugged the music in yet. We tried to reason with them, and even offered for them to take the power lead for the sound system, but they were having none of it.
    'It was on private land. We were nowhere near anyone. We weren't even playing any music. What effectively the police did was come in and stop fifteen people eating burgers.'
    Andrew had spent £800 for the hire of the generator, marquee and food. The guests arrived at 3pm but soon after a police helicopter generated a huge dust cloud which covered his BBQ in debris.
    Andrew said: 'The police had full-on camouflage trousers on and body-armour, it was ridiculous. There was also several plain-clothes officers as well.
    'I told them it was my 30th birthday. I said "this is a once in a lifetime event for me, please don't ruin it". But they kept on insisting I had been advertising it as an all-night rave on the internet.
    'But I'd created an event, and 17 people had confirmed as guests, I did put the times on it as "overnight" in case people wanted to sleep-over.
    'They were still banging on saying it was advertised on the internet. They wouldn't accept it wasn't a rave. It was in a completely isolated field.
    'We'd actually faced the speakers away from the village just in case nosy-neighbour types complained. But someone must have seen us putting up the marquee and phoned the police.'
    A spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall police said the helicopter was deployed for less that 20 minutes at a cost of around £200.
    She said local residents were concerned due to previous raves having reportedly taken place in the area with loud music and traffic disruption into the early hours.
    She said: 'The decision to close down a rave or illegal music festival is not taken lightly.
    'On this occasion, we were extremely concerned how the event had been advertised on the internet as an all-night party and it was therefore necessary to take the appropriate steps.
    'Had it gone ahead, it is likely that far more of our resources would have been used to police the event and there would have been considerable disruption to neighbouring properties.
    'It was fortunate that the force helicopter was able to fly over the site as they were returning from another task.'
  18. pirate24
    So, wait, now it's illegal to advertise an event over the internet? Does not compute. OK, let's examine this: it's legal to host a party, last time I checked. How exactly does posting about a party online suddenly make it a 'rave'? And how the hell did they find out about this in the first place? Is it really necessary to have the police browsing random facebook profiles? What really shits me about this story is that they still insist that they did the right thing. I don't know whether I find this story funny or sad.
  19. Pumpkin
    This really grinds my gears!!!

    First-they looked like complete retards coming in like the DEA to shut down a BBQ OP!

    Second-Since when was partying overnight illegal? I would file a lawsuit(even though its prolly useless, somehow the police always wins)

    Third-A Rave? Ok yea when SWIY thinks about a rave he thinks about XTC. But one can also go to a rave and just get shitty drunk(totally legal)

    I just cant believe that they told him he cant have the party. After they realized they were just grillin'. And wouldnt any sensible 'rave crasher' come at nite DURING THE RAVE.

    This is a total breach of our rights! Now we really do gotta fight for our right to party.
  20. Spucky
    AW: Facebook police raided my family barbeque

    we had a similar case, a guy after left by his Girlfriend start a call for a Party on Sylt/ Island
    and five Thousand People was coming!

    Maybe the Cops have been afraid of that :p

    The Problem have been that big damage happened, around 50.000 Euro.
    Now, after this Guy is left by his Girlfriend he is also in a big Debt! &(

    I don`t know the Situation in other Country but in Germany you need a
    permission to do "Public Things"!
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