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East Croydon rave organisers to impose age restrictions after death of 15-year-old Rio Andrew

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ORGANISERS of the illegal rave where a schoolboy collapsed and later died are to introduce age restrictions to future events. Among the thousands of people who attended were hundreds of underage children, including Rio Andrew, 15, who died in hospital less than 48 hours after the unlicensed party. Police have said it likely his death was drug-related and detectives are investigating whether he drank from a bottle that may have contained ketamine. Promoters Rum and Bass told the Advertiser they encourage people who attend not to take drugs. The group said the age-limit will be "mandatory", but they have yet to decide at what age the restriction will be set. They will also take steps to reduce the number of people who attend the raves, which are organised primarily through social media. Fire extinguishers, furniture and masonry were thrown at the police when they tried to close the rave at the former Royal Mail delivery office in East Croydon on June 14. The event was organised by two groups, Rum and Bass and Valhalla, who were tipped off about the venue by squatters. The Advertiser approached both promoters and this week received a response, via e-mail, from the 'Rum and Bass collective'. "After the terrible consequences of this event, as a collective we have decided to change the approach we have to events in London," a spokesman said. "Our hearts are with Rio's friends and family, but we would like to state that we advise people who come to our events not to take drugs." Rum and Bass say they booked 50 security guards, 15 medics and an onsite ambulance to ensure the delivery office rave was "as safe as possible". They were surprised by how many people attended, even though a recent rave in Sutton attracted a crowd of 3,000. "We did not expect that many people to turn up on the night," the spokesperson added. "By the time the police were outside the building, there was enough people that it was far safer to allow them inside to be controlled, rather than on the street. "If the police had not taken action they way they did, the crowd would have been maintained with no damage to the building." Rum and Bass now say they will not hold another rave until they can work out how to make the events safer. "We are doing our best to carry on going by making the scene safer, perhaps with more security and medical support," the spokesperson said. "Our events are about sharing the music we love in a peaceful and happy environment for the community of ravers to enjoy. "We would like to stress, however, that other events such as these will still continue and very few will take the precautions we do. Few will even have security let alone medics." Hundreds of under age children attended the rave, with witnesses reporting widespread drug use – including ecstasy, ketamine and crack cocaine – as well as legal highs available to buy over the counter. So far 15 people have been arrested for offences connected to the event, including violent disorder, money laundering and possession of drugs. Commander Simon Letchford defended the police response to the rave and condemned those revellers who attacked his officers. "A small minority were intent on disorder and trying to coax other people to attack the police," he said. "What is completely unacceptable is that a number of people inside the premises were throwing fire extinguishers out of a six-storey building. If one of them had hit an officer, we could have been talking about a fatality. "That behaviour cannot be justified and we will bring those responsible before the courts."

East Croydon rave organisers to impose age restrictions after death of 15-year-old Rio Andrew


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