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.
Labels: Notting Hill Carnival