Gaz Corfield, 9:05 am, Tuesday, 23 August, 2011Follow @TheWestLondoner
Scotland Yard has said that it will deploy thousands more constables to the Notting Hill Carnival than it ordinarily would, following the riots across London two weeks ago.
Senior Metropolitan Police officers have indicated that they are retaining constables from non-London forces who were deployed to the capital a fortnight ago. It appears that senior police officers fear a repeat of the widespread looting and destruction that occurred a fortnight ago.
About 16,000 police officers, including constables from forces as far afield as Wales, were deployed in the capital after riots which started in Tottenham spread across north, east and south London.
Whilst the final decision on police numbers will be made closer to the day, according to a Scotland Yard spokesman, it is highly likely that such a high profile public event will attract an increased police presence immediately following widespread rioting. The decision is likely to be taken on Thursday after senior police officers meet with local councillors from Kensington and Chelsea.
The Notting Hill Carnival has been running for 47 years. Originally started by West Indian immigrants to the Notting Hill area as a celebration of their home culture, the event has expanded to include all Caribbean cultures and attracts millions of visitors every year. This year’s carnival, which takes place between Sunday 28th August and Monday 29th August (which is a bank holiday) is scheduled to finish at 7pm each day. This is earlier than normal due to police fears of potential troublemakers using the carnival as cover to cause trouble.
Mainstream media reports over the last few years have primarily associated the carnival with anti-social behaviour. Similar reports have quoted local residents demanding the carnival be moved to Hyde Park or a similar large public space, which in their view would be better suited to handling the huge numbers of people who attend the event. Other articles promote the carnival’s positive cultural aspects, including the traditional Caribbean steel drum bands and the large variety of Caribbean food on offer.