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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Damned if you do: damned if you don't

The most emotive and potentially explosive decision councils have to take is whether to allow Notting Hill Carnival.
If cancelled there will be screams of protest: if it goes ahead and crime and civil disorder jumps there will be further screams of protest. For guidance we need look back to recent previous years. In 2009 around 320 people were arrested. Last year this figure fell to around 270 with the London Ambulance Service dealing with around 550 casualties. In the weeks running up to the Carnival the Met arrested 100 potential trouble makers. A further interesting stat-highly relevant as councils struggle to clean up after the riots- is the huge amount of rubbish generated-a staggering 100 tons.
So what to do.....
Without doubt managing the Carnival is going to seriously stretch the Police and other emergency services in a quite unimaginable way and without doubt troublemakers throughout London will know this and see it as an opportunity to initiate a second wave of serious civil disorder knowing that police will be tied down in Notting Hill. More to the point is that officers are already exhausted by recent riots and to expect them to be on top form is unrealistic.
The decision to allow the Carnival cannot be left to local politicians: it is far too important. Senior Met officers and those running emergency services are the guys to make the final recommendation and there should be no argument with them.


  1. For information I hear the local police want Carnival to proceed. They have a lot of local support, and so many volunteers to be stewards on the day they can barely cope.

    I look forward to a happy and peaceful Carnival, there is a lot of goodwill tomake this happen.

  2. Has it become impossible to say that Carnival is awful? When EPICs is closed down along with other vital services, the Borough is still able to help fund what, in any other part of the country, would be called a riot? Remember that businesses have to board up and close down for 3 days. For residents who can't afford to leave (this is the 'dungheap' up north rather than anywhere else in the borough - can you imagine Holland Park, Notting Hill or Chelsea allowing this?) are powerlessly stuck with people using their front door steps and gardens as toilets, incedible noise and filth. It's a kind of Emperors New Clothes: people who live in the middle of it are entirely disenfranchised, not even allowed to ask for their homes not to become part of a giant noisy rubbish tip, *every single year*. Ah well, may as well save my breath I suppose.

  3. It is sheer madness to allow the carnival to go ahead on the current site, though it might be sheer madness to let it go ahead at all in the light of the riots. It is too great a risk.

  4. The politicians say it has to go ahead because cancellation would send the wrong signal about London's ability to cope with the Olympics.

    What bunk.

    It is a law and order issue and the police need to decide. The hard headed guys in the police - not the local community softies.

    WESTFIELD is next door to the carnival and what a beacon that is for the lawless - huge concentration of shops to be looted

    It has to be cancelled


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