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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 August 2007, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Huge crowds enjoy carnival party
Notting Hill Carnival 2007
Performers paraded through the streets on Sunday
Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival in west London.

A massive police operation is under way for the two-day event with officers serving an estimated 11,000 shifts throughout the carnival.

A man is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering two stab wounds. Police said three people were arrested over the incident.

Police said a total of 57 arrests had been made on Sunday.

The Metropolitan Police said the injured man was found in Ladbroke Grove, west London, and taken to hospital by ambulance.

He was "said to be suffering from two puncture wounds to the abdomen", police said. Meanwhile, an intelligence operation began in May targeting offenders from previous carnivals.

The Met's Chief Inspector Jo Edwards said: "We're really pleased with success of the pre-carnival intelligence operation.

'Absolutely wonderful'

"We've been targeting those people where intelligence suggests they are intent on coming to carnival to commit crime and spoil what's a fabulous event for the millions of law abiding people who just want to come and have a good time over the Bank Holiday weekend."

Of those arrested, four were held on suspicion of indecent assault, another five for possession of offensive weapons, and others for various drugs offences, criminal damage and for being drunk and disorderly.

The Notting Hill Carnival is the world's second largest street party, after the Rio Carnival held in Brazil.

The largest crowds are due to arrive on Monday for a parade along the route from Ladbroke Grove to Westbourne Park.

Notting Hill Carnival 2007
The theme for this year's carnival is the abolition of the slave trade

Ros Bacon, a 54-year-old Londoner said: "I have never been before. I was scared because of the bad publicity but my friend's son is a DJ and he is here, so she convinced me to come.

"It's absolutely wonderful and I'm not worried about security at all. The music is fabulous, I actually quite like hip hop."

Finnish tourist Jukka Myllyniemi said: "I had heard lots of bad stories about it before but I think it's a very positive carnival, with so many people from different cultures.

"The good weather has also made such a difference."

Organisers said this year's theme, "set all free", commemorating 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade has been embraced by carnival goers.

Professor Chris Mullard, chairman of the Notting Hill Carnival Board Ltd. said: "It's amazing how many people have taken on our theme - freedom, equality, opportunity, liberty.

"The carnival has been an expression of identity but also of belonging, culturally enriching to the rest of British society."


Have you been to the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend? If so, send your pictures to: yourpics@bbc.co.uk




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