By Andrew Watts

A NORFOLK FARMER whose land was targeted by 1200 illegal rave goers has branded the lack of action by Norfolk Police as frustrating and disappointing.

Toby Bulgin, who recently bought Highsen Farm near Thetford, told farmers weekly that the rave goers had descended during the early hours of Sunday (Mar 27).

Mr Bulgin attempted to stop the traffic entering the farm, but was soon overwhelmed by the volume of people trying to get through.

Groups of youths invaded farm buildings and openly took drugs and caused damage to farm property.

But, said Mr Bulgin, although the police attended the scene, they were more concerned with ensuring the safety of the trespassers than arresting the perpetrators of the damage.

“The only time the police seemed to get even a little concerned was when the lane became blocked by the number of cars parked on it, which would have prevented a fire engine getting through,” said Mr Bulgin.

“Only two police officers came, and admitted they couldn”t arrest anyone, as they would then have had to leave to take them to the station,” he added.

“Apparently criminal damage, breaking and entering, theft, drug selling and taking, and threatening behaviour are only illegal in towns.” But Norfolk police superintendent Bob Scully rejected Mr Bulgin”s criticisms.

“This incident was not classed as a rave, as there were no immediate residents to be disturbed.

“However, there were hundreds of people who trespassed on this land, which is a civil matter. As the police do not enforce civil law, our powers of arrest do not extend to include this,” Mr Scully said.

Mr Bulgin”s irritation with the police at their refusal to bring the event to a close was stemmed only when his son was forced into hospital having fallen ill early that day.

“If it had not been for that then I shudder to think what action I might have taken myself,” he said.

One group of rave goers has since returned and vandalised Mr Bulgin”s tractor, smashing the door, door frame and window.

andrew.watts@rbi.co.uk