Thousands of Met officers will be on duty in west London over the bank holiday weekend, working hard to ensure a safe and spectacular Notting Hill Carnival.
Carnival is a unique event which celebrates and showcases the diversity and cultural richness of London, and which means so much to the heritage and identity of local communities. It attracts more than one million visitors over the weekend.
A dedicated team of officers have been working closely for many months with the event organisers, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd., the local authorities, and a range of other organisations in preparation for this celebratory event.
A substantial number of officers will be on duty to respond to any incidents which may occur and combat the threat of violent crime. These teams will be made up of officers from across the capital including officers from the Met’s Violent Crime Task Force, Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, Territorial Support Group and Roads and Transport Policing Command.
Similarly to last year, the policing operation for Notting Hill Carnival 2019 includes the use of screening arches which will be placed at certain locations across the footprint. These arches are not being used in response to any specific intelligence, but to deter anyone who may be considering bringing an offensive weapon to the event and detecting those who choose to do so.
A combination of overt and covert policing tactics will be deployed to keep the public safe across the weekend. This will include assets from the Specialist Firearms Command, Dog Support Unit and officers from the Mounted Branch. These officers will work closely alongside Carnival stewards and uniformed colleagues throughout the event.
Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, Met Police spokesperson for the event, said: “The significant number of people who attend Carnival and the relatively small geographical area in which it takes place creates a challenging policing environment. As always, we have worked very closely with the event organisers to ensure a safe environment where people from across the world can come and enjoy themselves.
“There is no specific threat to this event, but as with any large event, we are keeping the security situation under constant review. I want to assure you we have an experienced command team who, should it be required, will put additional measures in place to keep all those attending this wonderful event safe.
“It is set to be a very warm weekend, so please make sure you stay hydrated and look after yourselves. We would also encourage anyone attending this year’s event to download the official Notting Hill Carnival 2019 app. You can find medical points, food stops and receive live updates on transport network delays.”
Commander Dave Musker, Gold Commander for Notting Hill Carnival, said: “The MPS seeks to support the Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, Carnival participants and local communities to deliver a safe and spectacular event every year.
“Whilst the vast majority of Carnival goers are law-abiding, sadly a small number are intent on committing acts of violence. Whilst this behaviour does form a very small part of what is on the whole a spectacular event, the MPS is uncompromising in striving to maintain the safety and security of the public, and will do what is necessary and proportionate to protect those attending.
“Let no one be in any doubt that if you have an intention of coming to Carnival to be involved in crime or violence, my officers will proactively target you to keep the thousands of law abiding attendees safe.
“If you know of anyone who plans to cause trouble at this vibrant, celebratory event, or use it as a cover for crime, I would urge you to contact police. Please help us keep London safe. If you aren’t comfortable speaking directly to police, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call.”
People coming to Carnival are asked to follow the following advice to help keep them safe:
- Tubes and buses will be busy, so plan your journey in advance;
- Sunday is Children’s Day and traditionally less crowded;
- Go with the flow of the crowd, don’t try and walk against it;
- Have a set meeting place in case you lose family or friends, try not to rely on your mobile phone;
- Don’t bring valuables or wear expensive jewellery;
- Keep your belongings with you at all times;
- Don’t carry too much cash or credit cards;
- Stay hydrated – very warm weather is forecast for the weekend;
- Police officers are there to help – sometimes they may ask you to walk a longer route but this will be for the safety of you and others.