Thousands of officers from the Metropolitan Police Service will be on duty in west London this Bank Holiday weekend, working hard to ensure that the Notting Hill Carnival is a safe and spectacular event for all.
Carnival is a unique and vibrant event that attracts more than a million visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend. As part of the planning process, officers have been working closely for many months with the event’s organisers, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd., the local authorities of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council, as well as other statutory and voluntary organisations.
There will be a substantial number of officers on duty, to combat the threat of violent crime. Sunday will see a total of 6,162 officers and staff dedicated to Carnival duty, whilst on Monday this figure will rise to 6,858.
Some of these officers will come from the Met’s newly-formed Violent Crime Task Force, a team of specially-selected officers who focus on tackling violent crime on the streets of London. These officers work with units across the Met as well other London forces, community groups and members of the public to tackle violent crime and remove weapons from the streets.
For the first time, knife arches will be in place at certain locations, to deter those who may be planning to come to the event, armed with an offensive weapon. The use of knife arches is a tried-and-tested method of deterring people from carrying knives, as well as detecting those who choose to do so.
A combination of overt and covert policing tactics will be deployed to keep the public safe, and stop troublemakers entering the Carnival area. This will include – working alongside Carnival stewards and uniformed colleagues – specialist assets from the Force Firearms Unit, Dog Unit and officers from the Mounted Branch.
Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, Met Police spokesperson for the event, said: “The sheer number of people coming to Carnival and the relatively small geographical area, means that it is a challenging environment to police. We are working closely with the event organisers to ensure that the event is a safe environment where people can come and enjoy themselves.”
“Whilst there’s no specific threat to this event, we are keeping the situation under constant review. If you know of anyone who plans to cause trouble at this vibrant event, or use it as a cover for crime or violence, please let us know. Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 and tell us what you know.”
Commander Dave Musker, Police Gold Commander for Carnival, said: “The Met seeks to support Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, Carnivalists and local communities to deliver a safe and spectacular event over the Bank Holiday weekend. Our continued major effort directed against violence across the Capital will continue. Let no one be in any doubt that if you have the intention to come to Carnival and be involved in crime or violence, my officers will robustly and proactively target you to keep Londoners safe.”
People coming to Carnival are asked to follow the following advice to help keep them safe:
– Tubes and buses will be busy, so plan your journey in advance;
– Sunday is Children’s Day and traditionally less crowded;
– Go with the flow of the crowd, don’t try and walk against it;
– Have a set meeting place in case you lose family or friends, try not to rely on your mobile phone;
– Don’t bring valuables or wear expensive jewellery;
– Keep your belongings with you at all times;
– Don’t carry too much cash or credit cards;
– Police officers are there to help – sometimes they may ask you to walk a longer route but this will be for the safety of you and others.