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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Notting Hill stewards 'crisis'
Carnival butterfly
The route of this year's carnival has been changed
There are concerns about the provision of safety stewards for the Notting Hill carnival in eight days.

Only half the number of last year's stewards are being recruited, and it is claimed training is running late.

A former trustee of the carnival said the numbers were insufficient to ensure public safety.

But the Notting Hill Carnival Trust, which organises the event, said steward recruitment was on course.

The stewards help the Metropolitan Police manage the 1.4 million people expected on the streets of west London.

Public safety

The Carnival Trust has a target of 300 stewards this year, compared to around 700 last year - although only half that number turned up.

A former carnival trustee Antonn McCalla said 300 stewards was not enough to ensure public safety.

"Stewarding is so late, it's unreal.

"I honestly don't believe that the resources are actually there to put together the package required to make the carnival work effectively this year."

The recruits go on a three-hour training course, which organisers say will provide them with the skills needed to cope with the crowds.

Route altered

Carnival trustee Ansel Wong is confident that recruitment is on target: "We are now well under way of delivering at least 300 stewards on the day, which will, together with the Metropolitan Police, be an effective control of the crowds."

The carnival route has been altered this year to try to help the crowds spread out.

Last year 10,000 police officers were on hand to help with crowd control and to deal with crime.

Police say there will not necessarily be more officers this year, but there will 80 CCTV cameras to help them cover the whole route.

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27 Aug 01 | Entertainment
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