Monday, October 2, 2023

A police officer was sexually assaulted and six others were bitten as the final day of Notting Hill Carnival once again saw an outbreak of violence.

Two men are in hospital, one in a critical condition, following a spate of stabbings on Monday at Europe’s biggest street party.

The Metropolitan Police said six other men, aged 18, 19, 20, 25, 28 and 40, sustained non-life threatening injuries in separate incidents throughout Monday evening.

Dept Asst Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who oversaw the policing operation, said it was “regrettable” that for a second year in a row, Monday night at the carnival had been “marred by serious violence”.

The Metropolitan Police Federation said that 75 officers were assaulted, six were bitten, one was sexually assaulted and another is in hospital.

“Once again Notting Hill Carnival marred by serious violence – and attacks on police officers… This is absolutely disgusting. No wonder our members dread policing this event,” a spokesman said.

Series of violent incidents

There were 275 arrests across the two days of the carnival, with 165 arrests on Monday for a range of offences.

Dept Asst Commissioner Adelekan said that while the atmosphere for the majority of the weekend was “largely positive” the latter stages of the street party saw a series of violent incidents.

He added: “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.”

Officers also seized a firearm during the event and made a number of other arrests for a raft of offences including possession of offensive weapons, assaults on police officers, possession of drugs and sexual offences.

Serious but stable condition

The 29-year-old man who was stabbed is in a critical condition in hospital following the incident on Warfield Road shortly after 9pm on Monday.

A 19-year-old man is also in a serious but stable condition in hospital after he was stabbed in Ladbroke Grove shortly before 8pm.

Last year, police called for the future of the Notting Hill Carnival to be reviewed after the first event since 2019 saw one person murdered, six others stabbed and dozens of officers assaulted.

Takayo Nembhard, a rap artist, was at the carnival with his sister and friends when he was killed after being stabbed in the groin.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said at the time he was “sickened” by the stabbing.

In 2022 a total of 74 officers were injured, many as a result of assaults, and a female constable was sexually assaulted after becoming separated from her colleagues at the event.

An estimated two million people took to the streets of west London over the bank holiday as the carnival celebrated two landmark anniversaries.

The introduction of sound systems and mass bands 50 years ago transformed it into a large-scale event and the docking of the Empire Windrush 75 years ago heralded mass immigration from the Caribbean.

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