Anthony Owen is the managing director of VPS, the country’s leading managers of vacant properties, and who are often brought in to clean up and secure a site after a party has taken place.
“Raves occur throughout the year, but there are two main seasons, summertime and around New Year’s Eve.” Mr Owen explains. “A rave already reported this month incurred damages of tens of thousands of pounds. Last summer over 300 of these events were reported around the country, so it is highly realistic to estimate the total cost this year will run into millions.”
The rave Mr Owen referred to was reported by the owner of a derelict post office in Waltham Forest, who is counting the costs when 1,000 revellers took over the property for a summer rave on July 4th.
The century-old former delivery office had been the subject of a planning application to turn it into a mixed-use development of nine homes and a workplace when the owner reported the all-night party. In addition to substantial damages to each room in the property, lead was stolen from the roof, toilets were demolished and copper pipe work was taken.
“Empty properties or vacant land are obvious targets for illegal raves. If they are not secured and inspected regularly, owners may find themselves non-compliant on their insurance, and in the light of the expense of the aftermath, cutting corners on protection can turn out to be a false economy.” Mr Owen concludes.
VPS, the UK and European leaders in vacant property management, supply security solutions to commercial landlords, construction firms, local authorities and housing associations. After an illegal rave, they are often called to clean and clear the site before securing it, which may need specialist crews who know how to handle the residue of drug use or faecal dirt. Securing over 50,000 properties at any one time, they use a range of technologies designed for vacant properties from SmartAlarm systems and cctv through to guards and live-in guardians.
A case study “Axa” on protecting buildings from an illegal rave is available for free from the VPS website, www.vpspecialists.co.uk
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