Notting Hill Carnival - safer and better
- Notting Hill Carnival is a standout event in London’s cultural calendar, visited by over a million Londoners and tourists each year.
The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee gathered evidence from the Met Police, Carnival organisers, local councils, the event’s stewarding firm and the public on the issue of policing and safety at Carnival. The investigation found that:
- Crime at Carnival has always been a concern: and now we are seeing a rise in violence. In 2016 the Metropolitan Police recorded 151 offences of violence against the person on Sunday and Monday: an 86 per cent increase on the 81 incidents in 2010. Four stabbings almost became murders.
- Overcrowding poses a significant safety risk, with the Met Police warning of a potentially “catastrophic public safety incident” which could result in loss of life.
- The London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust Ltd (LNHCET), which organises the Carnival, is run by volunteers with little staffing or resource.
The Committee’s 2017 report, 'Notting Hill - safer and better', highlighted a worrying rise in serious and violent incidents at Carnival, and a real risk that overcrowding could occur. It makes recommendations to the Mayor to improve safety at Carnival:
- The Mayor should help to put the LNHCET on a more formal and financially sustainable footing, giving it greater responsibility and ownership of Carnival.
- In partnership with the LNHCET, the Mayor should examine the evidence base for change and consider the range of options—such as changing the parade route or moving elements of Carnival - to improve crowd management and safety.
Impact and next steps
The report received a high level of public attention and the committee’s investigation prompted MOPAC to commission further work to examine crowd management at Carnival. That work resulted proposals for a number of changes to Carnival, which MOPAC and other partners are responding to.
Crime at Carnival continues to be a high-profile issue. The Committee will continue to discuss the planning, policing, and partnership arrangements for Carnival through its Q&A meetings.