BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 27 August, 2001, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Police defend carnival security
Policewoman on duty at the carnival
Extra police were brought in after a review of security
The heavy police presence at London's Notting Hill Carnival has been defended by Scotland Yard as revellers enjoy the main day's parade of Afro-Caribbean floats, music and festivities.

Officers said the extra security measures have already paid off by keeping trouble to a minimum on Sunday, the festival's opening day - so far there have been about 30 arrests.

A total of 10,000 police officers and 80 extra CCTV cameras have been put on the circular route for the two-day event, which is expected to attract two million people.

Bad weather and a heavy police presence was thought to be behind Sunday's lower than expected crime figures, which included offences involving drugs, robbery, theft and being drunk and disorderly.

Click here to see a map of the route

Only 250,000 people turned up for the festivities on Sunday, but up to 1.5 million are expected on Monday.

The cost of policing Europe's biggest street party shot to a record 4m this year following the violence which marred last year's event.

Scotland Yard's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Andy Trotter, said the huge police presence was "justified in the sense that we all need to work together to make sure that no one gets hurt in today's event through not having sufficient resources on duty".

Mr Trotter said there were a number of intelligence-led arrests in the days leading up to the carnival and those on bail were warned against going to the procession area.

This year, two police officers required hospital treatment for minor injuries, while three others were treated at the scene.

Notting Hill street scene
The Carnival is a huge multi-cultural event
A stabbing incident in the Notting Hill area on Sunday was unrelated to the carnival, according to Scotland Yard.

The injured man, in his 20s, was taken to a north London hospital, but his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

As the festival began on Sunday afternoon, several of the 600 stewards were asked to shelter costumed children from the rain.

But although the showers deterred some of the crowds, many stayed to party through the rain, wearing black bin-bags to keep them dry.

They were entertained by steel bands, reggae floats and flamboyant costumes were on show, while revellers danced to music from sound systems around the narrow streets of the route.

During last year's carnival two people were murdered and several assaulted in a string of attacks, leading for calls for the festival to be radically scaled down or even abandoned.

Click here to return

The BBC's Daniel Boettcher in Notting Hill, London
"Detailed negotiations for a new route are already underway"
Deputy Assistant Commisioner, Andy Potter
"Everyone who goes to carnival wants to be kept safe"
The BBC's Barney Choudhury
"There is a higher visible presence of police"
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories