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1976: Notting Hill Carnival ends in riot
More than 100 police officers had to be taken to hospital after clashes at the Notting Hill Carnival in west London.

Most were released after treatment but at least 26 have been detained overnight for observation or further treatment.

Around 60 carnival-goers also needed hospital treatment after the clashes which led to the arrest of at least 66 people.

The trouble is believed to have started after police tried to arrest a pickpocket near Portobello Road on the main carnival route.

Several black youths went to the pickpocket's aid and within minutes the disturbance escalated.

The police were attacked with stones and other missiles.

They armed themselves with dustbin lids, milk crates and wire fencing and charged the rioters.

This was supposed to be about fun and love - not violence
Selwyn Baptiste, Carnival committee member
At one stage a group of black youths were seen moving up Westbourne Park road smashing windows.

Gangs of white youths were also said to have been involved in the violence.

One witness, Raymond Hunter, who lives in Westbourne Park Road said he saw a police van set alight.

"The two policemen managed to get out of the van and fled. The gang then turned the van over and set fire to it," Mr Hunter said.

The disturbances effectively put an end to the annual celebration of Caribbean culture.

Police sealed off roads and closed pubs in the area as well as shutting down Ladbroke Grove underground station in an attempt to contain the violence.

In the past, the carnival - now in its 10th year - has been largely peaceful in spite of tensions with police.

A member of the Notting Hill Carnival Development Committee, Selwyn Baptiste, said they had been optimistic after the first day of the festival passed off peacefully.

"We had no reason to suppose it would be any different today. This was supposed to be about fun and love - not violence," Mr Baptiste said.

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Notting Hill Carnival
The carnival is now in its 10th year

Attacks on police were by a handful of trouble makers



In Context
In a subsequent trial 17 black youths faced 79 charges.

However, only two were convicted of carnival related offences after the court case which cost a record 250,000.

Sporadic violence continued to mar what is the largest street festival in Europe that began in 1964 with a street party to celebrate Caribbean culture in west London. The 1990s were relatively peaceful - but in 2000 there were two murders during the carnival.

The London district of Notting Hill had a history of racial problems.

In 1958 it was the scene of race riots instigated by the fascist British Union whose "Teddy boys" clashed with local black people.

Relations between the black community and police had also been problematic over the years.

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