Police call for review of Notting Hill carnival after record number of arrests


The Metropolitan police federation has called for a full review of the Notting Hill carnival after saying more than 43 officers were injured and eight taken to hospital, and a record number of people were arrested.

Ken Marsh, the chair of the MPF, which represents rank and file officers, said police dread having to work at the carnival, the world’s second-biggest street party, where an unacceptable number of officers were being attacked.

This is not a peaceful and fun-loving event that our members look forward to policing. They dread it, he said.

A seemingly growing number of people appear intent on hijacking this carnival and turning it into a bank holiday battleground, and an excuse for using our members as professional punchbags.

Last year, we had an officer stabbed. This year, colleagues were assaulted, abused and spat at. Forty-three were injured, with eight needing hospital treatment. It’s completely and utterly unacceptable.

Police made more than 450 arrests at the carnival, held in west London over the bank holiday weekend.

A section 60 order covering the entire carnival area allowed officers to carry out random searches. The policing operation, which seemed initially to take a light touch, changed as the day progressed, with officers taking to the streets in riot gear after nightfall.

Ninety arrests were made for alleged possession of points and blades, and 169 for drugs.

Officers also made 38 arrests under the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act, which came into force in May, relating to nitrous oxide. Possession of the substance, a popular party drug sold in gas form by the balloon, is legal, but it is illegal to distribute it.

A further 40 arrests were made for alleged public order offences and 25 arrests were made on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. Last year, there were 407 arrests, a big increase on the 2014 figure of 252.

Five people were hurt in four separate knife attacks on Sunday, according to the Metropolitan police. Among those arrested was a 14-year-old boy held on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after a 15-year-old was stabbed.

The Met had a huge presence in Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove, with 6,000 officers deployed on Sunday and 7,000 on Monday.

Most sound systems, particularly those playing dub reggae, dancehall or grime, had a significant police presence. There was friction at People’s Sound on All Saints Road when police in riot gear moved in just before shutdown at 7pm.

Police shutdown Peoples Sound on All Saints Road “>NHC2016. pic.twitter.com/jDyV1P9EnY

One bystander, who asked to be named only as the Dread, accused officers of intimidation. Asked why he thought People’s Sound had been singled out, he said: For some reason, they have their targets. This sound here is the peaceful sound that’s been going on for the past 30 years. All the vibes are good and still we get this intimidation.

Other arrests included 17 for common assault or actual bodily harm; 13 for sexual offences; 10 for theft from the person, eight for going equipped for theft; six for grievous bodily harm; three for drink or drug driving; two for criminal damage; one for robbery and 32 others that the Met did not specify.

News Source TheGuardianNews

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