Skip to main content

Met's message ahead of Notting Hill Carnival 2017

News   •   Aug 25, 2017 16:56 BST

As thousands of people plan to take to the streets of Notting Hill to join and celebrate at 2017's Carnival, the message from the Met is we want you to enjoy this event by taking care and keeping safe. 

Carnival is a unique and vibrant event that attracts over a million visitors and revellers over the bank holiday weekend. Police have been closely working with all the agencies involved for many months as part of the planning process behind this event.

Post the tragic terrorists attacks in London and recently in Europe, the Met thoroughly reviewed policing plans for the event to ensure that everything possible is done to make Carnival as safe as can be.

Once again this year the police have been working closely in partnership with the organisers - London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust; both local authorities; the Mayor of London; and other emergency services colleagues.

Chief Superintendent Robyn Williams, spokesperson for the policing operation for Carnival, said:

"We've been working hard with everyone involved in the Carnival to make sure that thousands of people can take to the streets of West London and have a brilliant time, knowing that we are doing all we can to keep them safe.

"Whilst sadly London is no stranger to terrorist attacks and we are used to policing our City and big events against that backdrop, the terrible events in London this year and recently in Europe are a tragic reminder that the threat from terrorism remains ever present.

"The importance of Carnival in London's cultural calendar has only increased - this is an opportunity for the world to see the strength of our city. We are determined to do absolutely everything to make sure revellers enjoy it.

"With the tragedy of Grenfell Tower still so raw for the community of West London we have put in place a specific policing operation around that area.

"It is a reality though that last year the number of people arrested at the event was the highest it has been for a decade. The Met has been working incredibly hard to tackle some emerging and growing crime trends - specifically knife crime and acid attacks.

"No one wants to see Carnival being used this weekend as cover by those planning to commit crime, hurt each other or endanger those enjoying themselves.

"We will be working hard - on the streets of Notting Hill and across the whole of London - to keep people safe and prevent crime."

The Met would suggest those going to Carnival 2017 adopt the following simple tips to help keep them safe:

o Tubes and buses will be busy, so plan your journey in advance;
o Sunday is Children's day and traditionally less crowded;
o Move along the whole of the route;
o Go with the flow of the crowd - don't try to walk against it;
o Have a set meeting place in case you lose family or friends - try not to rely on your mobile phone;
o Don't bring your valuables or wear expensive jewellery;
o Keep your belongings with you at all times;
o Don't carry too much cash or your credit cards;
o 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.

The thousands who visit the event this year are advised to take full advantage of all the attractions and facilities that the event has to offer by spreading out throughout the entire Carnival area. Areas around the sound systems, the judging point and tube stations do become the busiest so try and avoid them if at all possible.

The Met will continue targeting those coming to the event to commit crime and trouble, both up to and during the weekend itself. Officers will be deployed away from the event to take action against troublemakers we believe may be travelling into the Carnival area.

CCTV will keep a bird's eye view over the Carnival area, giving officers an additional tool to keep the crowd safe, stop crime and catch any criminals.

In addition to the officers policing Carnival, highly-skilled officers who can recall offenders' faces after seeing them briefly either in person or on file - so-called 'super-recognisers' - will be monitoring the event live from a CCTV control room. These officers will seek out anyone who has bail conditions which prohibit them from attending the event, as well as quickly identifying offenders committing crime.

Facial recognition technology will be used to target those people with bail conditions to keep them away from the event. Officers will be using intelligence led stop and search and (Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology at Carnival foot entry points and key routes into Notting Hill to stop trouble makers from even arriving in the area.