At least one person was arrested when police shut down what they said was a suspected illegal rave near Merstham in Surrey this weekend.

Police said they received reports of 30-40 people gathering on the footpath underpass that leads beneath the M23 near Merstham on Satuday (April 23), prompting their intervention.

On the arrival of officers around 11.50pm, the majority of people reportedly dispersed and police said they also turned away two minibuses full of people nearby.

Meanwhile, two people were summonsed by police for obstructing the highway, after they ran away from officers across the M23.

A 55 year-old man was also arrested for "being in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place while being unfit through drugs", contrary to S4(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Police said they found items including a laser light machine, a smoke machine and a quantity of fuel on site, heightening their suspicions of an illegal rave event.

"Thanks to some good teamwork by the officers involved, we were able to prevent the event from getting underway before it even got going," East Surrey Detective Chief Inspector Richard Haycock said.

"Although there were reports of 30-40 people present, there were only about 6-8 people when we got there and no music playing.

"However, the equipment found would suggest that an illegal rave had been planned," he added.

"As restrictions lift, it is only natural that people want to start socialising again.

"However, we will not tolerate reckless behaviour and illegal gatherings, and encourage the public to stick to current covid regulations to prevent the spread of the virus and to keep each other safe."