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Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 22:15 GMT 23:15 UK
Carnival crowds take to streets
Couple at the Notting Hill Carnival
This is the 43rd year of the Notting Hill Carnival

More than half a million people took to the streets of west London for day two of the Notting Hill Carnival.

Parades of flamboyant performers along with sunny weather attracted the crowds, with an estimated 600,000 at the event at 1800 BST.

The revelry is continuing with police maintaining a presence to guard against trouble, which has flared in the evening in previous years.

Police are investigating a suspected shooting and a stabbing.

The suspected shooting happened in the area of Blenheim Crescent at around 1925 BST. Police heard shots being fired and found a 17-year-old youth with a shoulder wound.

His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening and an arrest has been made in connection with the incident.

A man in his 20s was stabbed at Westbourne Park Road. He is in a stable condition in hospital.

Drummers at the Notting Hill Carnival
More than half a million people attended the carnival on Monday

Police pointed out that arrests, totalling 165, were down compared with last year.

Ch Insp Jo Edwards said: "Our arrest figures are down and a lot of this is due to the use of police stop-and-search powers.

"We are not targeting the law-abiding citizens, we are targeting those who we have reasonable grounds to believe could cause a serious assault as seen in previous years.

"Yesterday, police recovered a firearm using their stop-and-search powers."

The carnival, which is in its 43rd year, is the world's second largest street party after the Rio Carnival held in Brazil. An estimated 250,000 people attended on Sunday to see the children's parade.

Processions of brightly-dressed participants in elaborate costumes have been dancing along west London's streets to the sound of Caribbean rhythms.

'Slavery' roots

Lewis Benn, one of the carnival's organisers, said the event had grown into a massive cultural celebration.

"The history of carnival evolved from the slavery days of people under oppression - looking at ways to free themselves from oppressiveness and that's how carnival evolved into the great event it is now.

"Coming over in the '50s from our forefathers in the Caribbean, mainly Trinidad, and it has grown into what we have - a great diverse event which covers all cultures and is now one, if not the biggest, cultural event in Europe."

About 4,000 police officers have been deployed, patrolling the streets around the event.

Some 178 criminal incidents have been reported and paramedics have treated 161 people at the event, including six police officers, with 22 people taken to hospital.

Three people arrested on Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder, after a stabbing in Ladbroke Grove, remain in custody.

Another three men have also been arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms.

Four people were arrested on Sunday night in Maida Vale as part of an ongoing intelligence operation by police. A firearm was also recovered.

'Very safe'

Carnival-goers have praised organisers and police for making the event feel safe.

Mia Frederickson, 35, who attended with her husband and two children, said: "We're having a great time and the kids are loving the atmosphere.

"They're only five and 18 months but there's so many police around I'm not too concerned. It feels very safe."

Performer and police at the Notting Hill Carnival

Chris Jenkins, 35, an IT consultant from Clapham, south London, who is among the spectators at the street party, said: "This is London at its best - people all getting on together."

And 24-year-old Lisa Roberts, from Australia, said: "We heard only great things about carnival so we had to come and experience it.

"We thought the summer had forgotten to come to London but it's great to see the sun out and everyone enjoying themselves.

"Culturally, this is definitely one of the richest festivals I've ever been to."

In the months leading up to the carnival police arrested 24 people.

And for the weekend British Transport Police installed metal detector arches on underground and railway stations to screen people bound for the event.

An automatic number plate recognition system was installed near the boundary of the carnival to assist police to stop and search suspect vehicles.


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




SEE ALSO
Carnival's 100m boost to the UK
25 Aug 07 |  London

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