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310 Arrests, 3,500 Nitrous Oxide Canisters, and £30,000 of Counterfeit Booze: Have the Police Abandoned the Notting Hill Carnival?

London saw a huge surge in knife crime and violence over the weekend during the Notting Hill Carnival. There were 314 arrests including 21 assaults on police; while one officer was stabbed and another was bitten in separate incidences.  

Scotland Yard is now reported to be reviewing policing of the event – Europe’s largest street festival – after this years event witnessed the highest number of arrests since 2008, when it ended in a riot.

Incidents recorded by the Metropolitan Police this year include 44 arrests for possession of knives and other bladed weapons, ten thefts and a sexual offence. At one point on Monday riot police were called as officers making an arrest for theft were pelted with bottles. The rise in violence may be blamed on a more “soft touch” policing approach to the event in West London, which was founded by Britain’s West Indian community in 1966.

Labour leadership favorite Jeremy Corbyn was spotted among the revelers on Sunday, and today London Mayor Boris Johnson condemned the rise in violence, stating that “300 arrests is simply too many.”

One altercation captured on camera involved a man in a “Marshal” vest throwing punches. However, a Carnival spokeswoman said: “The marshal involved in the incident… has nothing to do with LNHCET [London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust]. This has been confirmed by the police and our head of security.”

Another “brutal attack” on Monday saw a man in his 20s left bleeding heavily from the head after being chased and bottled by a gang.

A witness told The Evening Standard: “I was walking home and heard a very loud scream.

“I rushed over and saw a man jump off a bus chased by three men before he was hit with a bottle. I believe they had been arguing and this group of Asian men followed the guy who was bottled. The next thing I knew, there were police on top of one of the Asian men holding him down.”

As well as the violence, 61 arrests for drug offences were made. More than 3,500 canisters of nitrous oxide “laughing gas” with a street value of £17,000 were seized, alongside £30,000 worth of counterfeit alcohol.

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