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In the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to official sources, between 20,000 and 30,000 people participated in a “macro botellón”, an unlicensed and therefore illegal gathering of music and alcohol, which took place in the Campoamor are of the Orihuela Costa.

Although supported by some members of the town hall in previous years, this year the administrative group sought to do what they could to deter and prevent the illegal, dangerous and costly activity taking place.

A team of more than 100 officials, made up of security and police forces, health and emergency groups, had been on standby in anticipation for the announcement of the date of the party, which is normally done thought social network sites and at very short notice. The team took action to avoid serious consequences anticipated in managing such a large crowd of people, concentrated mostly in the la Glea area, thus avoiding a tragedy which may have so easily occurred, as was the case when an oversized group of people took to a party in Madrid in October, in which three people were trampled to death and council officials face legal action and potential convictions for manslaughter.

The city of Orihuela had warned, also through social networks, that the gathering did not have necessary authorisation, and that they would do everything possible to prevent the party taking place. The mayor of Orihuela, Monserrate Guillén, who also holds the role of responsibility for Emergencies and Public Safety in the municipality, wanted to publicly thank the work of all officers involved in security at the event, which also included the Guardia Civil from Torrevieja, as well as the traffic department from Alicante.

The Municipal Police also expanded its services with two rapid response vehicles on duty throughout the evening. Along with the Cruz Roja, and beach emergency teams, all coordinated through a central control point, although not through the multi-purpose emergency coordination centre, as this is yet another project waiting funding and completion by the regional government.

The security teams monitored the entrances to the area, restricting vehicles from entering, recording those allowed to pass through, and successfully seizing a wealth of illegal materials from narcotics to weapons-

The Mayor also stressed that the cleanup operation was completed in just two hours after the conclusion of the concentration, although this bill is once paid for by the residents of the municipality, rather than the thousands of people who came and left their rubbish on the coastal area.

The Mayor did conclude that the operation was successful, thanks to the cooperation of everybody involved. They will now be studying the data collated and, according to Guillén, study ways and measures to prevent such mergers without permission or control, occurring in the future.

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