Notting Hill Carnival: Officers bitten, 8 stabbed, and 275 arrests for knife possession, drugs and sexual assault at UK migrant festival

By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

An annual festival dedicated to promoting the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities who migrated to Britain has yet again been “marred by serious violence,” with eight people stabbed, a police officer bitten, and 275 arrests made.

The Notting Hill Carnival, held every August in the West London district of the same name, is portrayed as a colorful celebration primarily of the Windrush generation who migrated to Britain after World War II from British territories in the Caribbean.

However, the event is regularly tarnished by significant crime, resulting in the Metropolitan Police deciding this year not to release officers for annual leave during the carnival weekend and deploying thousands of officers to the area for an unprecedented police presence.

The festival has also drawn criticism for its often sexual imagery in the presence of young children.

In a statement on Tuesday, police revealed that “while the atmosphere throughout the weekend was largely positive, the latter stages of the event sadly saw a series of violent incidents.”

These included eight stabbings and 275 arrests for offenses including the possession of offensive weapons, possession of drugs, and sexual assault.

A 29-year-old man is in critical condition in the hospital, while a 19-year-old was also hospitalized and remains in serious but stable condition. A further six men aged 18, 19, 20, 25, 28, and 40 were also stabbed during the course of the carnival and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Footage circulated on social media showed a number of Black youths running down the street armed with machetes.

“Regrettably, there were also further assaults on officers including sexual assaults and an officer who was bitten and was treated in hospital,” the police statement read.

“Nobody disputes the significance of Carnival on London’s cultural calendar and the overwhelming majority of those who came will have had a positive experience. However, we cannot overlook the stabbings, sexual assaults, and attacks on police officers that we have seen,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who oversaw the policing operation.

“It is regrettable that for a second year in a row, Monday night at Carnival has been marred by serious violence,” he added.

The carnival has become notorious for high levels of crime, and police were urged to be extra vigilant after 21-year-old father-to-be Takayo Nembhard was stabbed to death at the event last year. To date, no one has been charged with his murder.

Last year, 74 police officers were assaulted, including one female officer who was sexually assaulted after becoming separated from her colleagues. A record number of knives were also seized following 441 stop and searches.

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