London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the vibe as “immaculate,” and praised the event for going ahead in a “largely peaceful” manner; however, this year’s Notting Hill Carnival was one of the most bloody and violent yet.
The annual event, during which the streets of West London come alive for a Caribbean festival that has been celebrated since the 1960s, has become an event dreaded by those tasked with policing it, and the fears of authorities were soon realized this August bank holiday weekend with multiple reports of sexual assault, vandalism, theft, and numerous stabbings that resulted in one fatality.
The Metropolitan Police force confirmed that the two-day-event saw 74 of its officers assaulted, six people stabbed, 209 individuals arrested, and a record number of 441 knives seized as a result of stop and search operations conducted by officers.
“These are people’s sons and daughters,” the Metropolitan Police Federation tweeted after the event. “These are children’s mothers and fathers. This happens every year. It’s an utter disgrace. We wish all brave colleagues a swift recovery.”
Ken Marsh, the force’s federation chair also revealed that a female police officer was “sexually assaulted by numerous males” at the festival, claiming that there was an “element that turn up to cause harm to others” and called for the event to be stopped.
“It is disgusting. A colleague was sexually assaulted by numerous males during the carnival. My thoughts go out to that individual right now,” he told LBC.
Takayo Nembhard, a 21-year-old footballer-turned-drill-rapper has been named as the victim who was stabbed to death at the carnival after traveling to the event from Bristol. Police have not made an arrest in connection with his murder at the time of writing. His girlfriend is currently pregnant, and he had attended the event with his younger sister and her friends “simply to have a good time,” his manager revealed.
Shocking footage emerged online on Tuesday of an altercation between a male and a female at the festival, during which the man punched the woman in the face, dropping her to the floor as onlookers gasped.
Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Met Police Stephen Roberts told conservative presenter Nigel Farage on GB News that there is “very little the police can do” to control crime at the Notting Hill Carnival, and the force’s federation has revealed its officers dread the annual event, now anticipating violence and crime on a mass scale.
“Every year, our brave officers come under attack at this event. Colleagues dread policing it. And yet nothing changes,” the federation tweeted with the hashtag “protect the protectors.”
In a statement posted online on Tuesday, the organizers of the carnival expressed their deep sadness by the “tragic events that happened after what was a celebratory and unifying weekend for the Carnival community.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those affected.
“We reject utterly this horrifying behavior and urge anyone with information to contact the Metropolitan Police.”