Notting Hill Carnival organisers have said they need more help from police in keeping people safe after "a rise in serious violence" at the annual event.
August bank holiday's much awaited parade sees millions of people gather in the west London spot, but a new report published today (January 17) by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee shows there is a long road to improvement as stabbings and other crimes have seen a spike.
London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust Ltd (LNHCET), which organises the carnival, is run by volunteers who admit their resources are slim in keeping tourists from harm.
The "Notting Hill Carnival – safer and better" report claims Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) need to "get a grip on public safety".
One of the main issues which was flagged up was overcrowding because of the street-based location - although no talks of cancelling or re-locating the festival have been raised.
Police swarm into carnival unrest amidst thick crowds
Chairman of the Police and Crime Committee, Assembly Member (AM) Steve O’Connell, said: " Alarm bells are ringing.
"We’re seeing a rise in serious violence at Notting Hill Carnival and an increase in the number of people being injured by weapons.
"Coupled with the risks around crowd control, there is a very real threat of serious harm to a large number of people."
He added: "We want Carnival to succeed, but it has reached a tipping point where the status quo is not an option.
"The previous Mayor got a grip on London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, the current Mayor now needs to do the same with Notting Hill Carnival."
Crime at Carnival has always been a concern and the reports clearly indicate a rise in violence.
In 2016 the Metropolitan Police recorded 151 offences of violence against the person on the Sunday and Monday during the event - an 86% increase on the 81 incidents in 2010. Four stabbings almost became murders, according to new figures.
A meeting held in October by residents was dominated by people saying the festival should remain in the borough , but needed a much thorough plan where crime is concerned.
On the report, Kensington MP Victoria Borwick said: " Carnival should be an event that everyone can enjoy and as this report demonstrates, much more can be done to ensure that this happens.
"In recent years Carnival has seen increasing levels of antisocial behaviour.
"Carnival must once again become a fun family occasion and I support every effort to tackle the extremely worrying public safety issue."
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