Gavin Watson: Most of the police on the ground thought these parties were a godsend. They emptied the town centres of trouble, so a lot of time they would tell us where the raves were, just to make sure we moved on and their villages weren’t clogged up with cars and lost people. But after time, the laws were changed, and they got the powers to confiscate equipment and so on. Still, any parties that were closed were always done so without violence. In general, the police had a rather apologetic approach in the early days.