In case you didn’t notice, Notting Hill Carnival happened this weekend and everyone had a good time!
This was despite police scaremongering
Or the ring of steel put round the carnival that made Europe’s largest street festival rather hard to get into. I am sure there were arrests and trouble somewhere, but not where I was dancing!
Instead of marring Carnival, Grenfell made it. I didn’t make the minute’s silence on the Sunday, but I was there at 3pm on Monday – it was moving. A lot of people wore green.
What was more moving is that despite the large police presence, the sweltering heat (the hottest late bank holiday on record) and the usuals (booze and blues), this was as friendly a Carnival as I have known!
I was up the Harrow Road end, cycling around because I have a bad leg. Everywhere I went , I saw nothing but fun and smiles- and a few running repairs!
The masquaraders were out in force!
The boys were on tour!
and the music was as loud as ever!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not from the Caribbean, but I was made to feel like I was – thanks to everyone who shared their carnival!
The day before, my boat passed through Reading and I watched the festival-goers queuing to get into that event. I am sure it was amazing too, but I couldn’t help noticing that the tickets had a big number on them with an adjacent pound sign!
The Notting Hill Carnival was free – and safe – and loud – and it had ten times the numbers of Reading/Leeds.
For which, the Carnival will get little publicity this year – but deserves infinite praise!
I’ve been sent the following press release which says much the same thing!
Statement from London Assembly Police and Crime Committee on Notting Hill Carnival
Steve O’Connell AM, Chairman of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee said:
“On behalf of the Committee I’d like to applaud the London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust Ltd (LNHCET) and the Metropolitan Police for honouring the memory of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, while celebrating the largest street carnival in Europe this weekend.
Notting Hill is visited by over a million people and the Committee recognises the challenges involved in delivering an event that is safe and enjoyable for those attending.
Having previously raised concerns about public safety, we are pleased to see the number of arrests for offences such as drugs and weapon possession have fallen. There is still more to do to make Carnival a safer and better experience for all, and we look forward to hearing how the LNHCET, the Mayor, and other partners will continue to work towards this, so that Carnival’s success, rather than crime and disorder, becomes the headline story every year”.
Notes for Editors:
- Steve O’Connell AM, Chair of the Police and Crime Committee, is available for interview – see contact details below.
- London Assembly Police and Crime Committee.
- ‘Notting Hill Carnival – safer and better’ report.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.