The bank holiday weekend saw Europe’s biggest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival, take place. The yearly event, in which revellers descend upon the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea to dance to loud music, publicly smoke cannabis, eat goats and stab each other, was hailed as a peaceful success this year by organisers and the police. So successfully peaceful was it that during the two day event a mere 299 people were arrested, mostly for public order offences, compared to last year’s anarchic 214 (which was incidentally also hailed as a peaceful success by the police). It is clear from these figures that success is measured by the number of arrests the police felt necessary to make during the carnival. Furthermore, there were 500 more police officers on patrol at this year’s event compared to last year, so it is clear that with regards to the carnival, more police = more arrests = peaceful success. Lovely.
Police officers congratulate themselves on a job well done yesterday
Despite there being a few arrests there was nothing in the way of serious crime at all. Well, apart from a 14 year-old boy being slashed by a sharp object in Golborne Gardens; a 16 year-old girl sustaining a leg wound; a 20 year-old man being left in a serious but stable condition after being stabbed in the back and buttocks in Ladbroke Grove; three men being stabbed on North Pole Road, leaving one of them in a critical condition; and multiple incidences of public semi-nudity:
|They'll catch their death, mark my words|
Some carnivalists considered the atmosphere so good that the police presence was not really needed: Jade Walker, who had travelled all the way down from Middlesbrough to join the hip-swinging action said
"There's not a lot of need for it. This is my second time here and I've never felt threatened, but maybe that's just because I'm from Middlesbrough and it's rough there."
Here is a clear solution to people being intimidated by the ‘edgy’ reputation of the carnival: ship them in from rough areas and by comparison they will feel like they are at an Isle of Wight church fete. Mrs Walker’s husband Gary agreed with his wife (probably wise to do so – she is from Middlesbrough after all). "It's just a fun, friendly, happy vibe,” he blathered happily while tugging his wallet away from a hooded 13 year-old on a BMX.
So it appears that the police are to be congratulated on a job well done at the Notting Hill Carnival, and no one would like to congratulate them more than Commander Bob Broadhurst who was in charge of policing the festival.
"For the last two days our officers were out there working hard to make sure that those who wanted to come to the event and have fun could, and those who wanted to break the law were arrested or disrupted,” he ‘ello, ‘ello, ‘elloed. "We had a highly visible presence out on the streets of Notting Hill to make sure those troublemakers who thought violence and crime was an option were met by a swift response."
Good work chaps.