Notting Hill Carnival violence ‘unacceptable’, say police, as youths brandish machetes

 (Oliver Quartly)
(Oliver Quartly)

The level of violence at Notting Hill Carnival is “unacceptable and unsustainable” the Metropolitan Police Federation has said, as images emerged of men brandishing machetes on the streets of west London.

The photographs show a man dressed in black wielding a machete as crowds disperse around them at Europe’s largest street party over the weekend.

One group of revellers appeared to try and escape as one man ran towards them.

A photographer wrote on Instagram: “The joyful atmosphere turned unexpectedly as an altercation broke out nearby.

“It was a truly disheartening moment, as the beauty of the carnival was overshadowed by this unfortunate incident.”

 (Chris Strickland)
(Chris Strickland)

It comes as Metropolitan Police Federation vice chairman Rick Prior told the Telegraph the level of violence at Notting Hill Carnival was “unsustainable”.

He said: “You can’t have it that every single year come Tuesday morning we’re contemplating these types of injuries, this numbers of injuries and sexual assaults and stabbings. It really is awful.”

Eight men were stabbed across the weekend, with two taken to hospital.

A 29-year-old man was rushed to hospital in a critical condition following a stabbing in Warfield Road shortly after 9pm on Monday. He is now in a serious but stable condition.

A teenager, 19, was stabbed in Ladbroke Grove shortly before 8pm on Monday and taken to hospital.

Six other men aged 18, 19, 20, 25, 28 and 40 were stabbed in separate incidents throughout Monday evening. None had life threatening injuries.

Mr Prior added that the “nature of the geographic layout of Notting Hill and the amount of people that come to this carnival now” facilitates “people with nefarious intent”.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the federation said the level of violence was “absolutely disgusting”.

“No wonder our members dread policing this event.”

 (Chris Strickland)
(Chris Strickland)

More than 50 Met officers reported being assaulted at the carnival, including officers who were kicked, punched, spat on, bitten, head-butted and sexually assaulted, the force said in an update on Tuesday.

Mr Prior told the Telegraph that officers had also been urinated on by people in upper floor windows.

Between Sunday and Monday more than 300 people were arrested, including for possession of offensive weapons, assaults, possession of drugs and sexual offences.

On Sunday there were 110 arrests and on Monday a further 198, including 57 arrests for assaults on police officers, 71 for possession of an offensive weapon and 20 arrests for sexual offences.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who oversaw the policing operation, said: “It is regrettable that for a second year in a row, Monday night at Carnival has been marred by serious violence.

“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.”

Mr Adelekan said the Met will give “thorough consideration to what may need to change in future years”.

Organisers of the event, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, said those who carried out the attacks “have nothing to do with Notting Hill Carnival or its values”.

The statement said: “Notting Hill Carnival has once again been a spectacular weekend of colour and sound, the culmination of a year’s long work, that results in this hugely important and unique cultural event.

“Carnival is about these communities and people, who dedicate so much time, love, incredible creativity and effort to the parade, sound systems, music, food, costumes and much more that makes up the event.”