Met Police Expresses Concerns Over Crime Severity at Notting Hill Carnival

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has voiced his apprehension regarding the severity of crime incidents at the Notting Hill Carnival, an annual event in west London. The recent carnival witnessed a troubling escalation in criminal activities, including multiple stabbings, assaults on police officers, and a total of 275 arrests over the two-day period.

Calls for Change

The surge in violence at the carnival has spurred calls for change from various quarters. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak emphasized the need for law enforcement and the courts to have enhanced powers to combat the use of dangerous weapons such as “zombie knives” and machetes. Meanwhile, Susan Hall, the Conservative Party’s London mayoral candidate, suggested relocating the event, possibly to a park.

Policing Perspective

During a live phone-in session on LBC, Sir Mark Rowley reiterated that any decision regarding the carnival’s location does not fall within the purview of the police. He acknowledged the carnival as a “fantastic event in many respects” but raised two significant concerns from a policing perspective.

“Although not excessive for an event of this size, the amount of criminality is not our main concern. The magnitude of the crime is what is genuinely concerning,” stated the commissioner. The severity he refers to includes instances of stabbings and the alarming cache of weapons recovered during the event, comprising over 70 knives and one or two firearms.

Sir Mark’s second concern centers on the risk of crowd-related incidents. “We’re conducting a thorough review to address these concerns. We will engage with the organizers, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, as well as local authorities and other stakeholders to mitigate these worrying risks,” he affirmed.

Unpleasant Experiences

The commissioner empathized with the experiences of some police officers at the Notting Hill Carnival, describing them as “deeply unpleasant.” He pledged to advocate for improvements that both mitigate risks and allow hundreds of thousands of revelers to continue enjoying the event safely.

For a response, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd has been contacted.

In previous statements, organizers expressed their condemnation of all acts of violence and their commitment to working diligently with partners to safeguard the Notting Hill Carnival and the individuals who contribute to its unique atmosphere.

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