Notting Hill Carnival sees ‘no major incidents’ on Children’s Day but 85 arrests - police

Police officers got involved in the celebrations  (Getty Images)
Police officers got involved in the celebrations (Getty Images)

Notting Hill Carnival’s Children’s Day passed off with “no major incidents”, police said, but there were 85 arrests, a number police believe is ‘consistent’ given the popularity of the festival.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who is leading the policing operation for Carnival, hailed the “largely good natured” atmosphere on the first day which saw thousands of officers deployed to police the event.

Additional stop-and-search powers were granted overnight following “information” that some people had travelled to the area carrying knives.

By Sunday at 9.30pm there had been 85 arrests in total including 18 for drugs, 11 for sexual assault, 26 for possession of an offensive weapon and 10 alleged assaults on police officers.

Knife arches were installed along the Carnival route but revellers could easily avoid walking through them if they wished.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Adelekan, said: “As ever we saw very large crowds who made their way from across London and beyond. The atmosphere was largely good natured and positive with the overwhelming majority of people having an enjoyable and safe experience.

“Regrettably there will always be some who use the opportunity to commit offences.

“Our officers will respond decisively where this takes place which is evident from the 85 arrests made thus far, a figure broadly consistent with what we would expect at this stage of a Carnival weekend.”

 (Barney Davis)
(Barney Davis)

He added: “Carnival should be a safe environment for all and I am saddened that we have seen 11 arrests for sexual assault.

“Tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for the Met and it has been a focus of our event planning. We have officers out among the crowds during the event to identify offenders.”

Last year it was revealed that Carnival had a very similar arrest rate to Glastonbury despite Carnival being a free event in the capital’s streets and attended by millions compared to Glastonbury’s 200,000 revellers in a fenced-off site that punters pay hundreds to get into.

Despite this criminality is rarely highlighted at the Somerset festival and Notting HIll organisers have blamed “unfair coverage” for its disproportionate association with crime.

Takayo Nembhard, 21, was fatally stabbed on Ladbroke Grove under the Westway flyover (Twitter)
Takayo Nembhard, 21, was fatally stabbed on Ladbroke Grove under the Westway flyover (Twitter)

Last year Takayo Nembhard, 21, was knifed to death under the Westway flyover close to Ladbroke Grove station on the adult day with hundreds of people nearby.

The expectant father, who used the moniker TKorStretch, had travelled from Bristol to enjoy the annual event.

Carnival CEO Matthew Phillip told The Mirror ahead of the celebration: “When you look at it, when you scale it up with the numbers, it’s a very safe event, despite what you’d normally see.

“Things have changed, even last year, with the tragic incident that happened. There will be people who are always anti-Carnival but things are changing.”

With 9,000 officers at last year’s event more criminals are often caught which could boost arrest figures at Notting Hill.

He added: “I think that’s [the perception] improved over the years. We took over in 2018, and coverage before was very focused on problems. We set out in earnest to change that narrative and challenge some of the things being said and speak to people about the positive things of Carnival. I grew up in Carnival so always thought the media was being unfair.”