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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 04:41 GMT 05:41 UK
Carnival policing costs 'too high'
costumed Notting Hill carnival participant
Organisers called it the most "relaxed" carnival in years
The man in charge of policing this year's Notting Hill carnival has criticised the amount of money spent on security.

The cost of policing Europe's biggest street party shot to a record 4m this year following the violence that marred last year's event in which two people were murdered and 19 stabbed.

A total of 10,000 police officers - 1,500 more than last year - and 80 extra CCTV cameras were put on the circular route for the two-day festival.

But Scotland Yard's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Andy Trotter, said: "Carnival should not cost 4m in policing.

Police Officer dances with parade participant
Officers joined in the fun

"It has got to be safe and fun - but need not cost this much money."

Mr Trotter suggested stewards - 700 of whom were used this year - could take over the roles of some of the police.

But he also called for the carnival procession to be moved from its present route.

"I would wish for a non-circular route that has an open space at each end," Mr Trotter said.

Click here to see a map of the route

"I'm not saying where it should go - but it is up to us to offer guidance.

"Notting Hill is the home of carnival, and I think that should remain.

"What needs to change is the circular route through those narrow streets, which does bring about unacceptable levels of crushing."

Notting Hill residents
Many locals took part from the comfort of home

The 37th annual carnival drew to a close in the early hours of Tuesday, with fewer than 60 arrests - most of them for minor offences.

Around 1.25 million people lined the streets at what was described by organisers as the most "relaxed" carnival in years.

There were 98 minor injuries among revellers and a further 10 were taken to hospital with similar injuries.

Three police officers also required hospital treatment for minor injuries while six others were treated at the scene.

Scotland Yard earlier defended the heavy police presence which they said had helped keep trouble to a minimum.

A spokeswoman said things had been "much quieter than last year".

But some revellers felt that the massive police presence should be put to one side to focus on the carnival itself.

One woman, who has been coming to the carnival since she was five and was now bringing her teenage daughter, said it was the tradition and atmosphere that brought millions from far and wide.

Many officers also put their jobs aside for a while to join in with the festivities, dancing with the floats and decorating their uniforms.

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The BBC's Kim Barnes
speaks to Deputy Asst Commissioner Andy Trotter and the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone
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