Friday, 18 November 2016

Crime Carnival

This year's Notting Hill's carnival saw spectacular costumes, sound systems and revellers dancing in the streets of west London. Thousands of revellers turned out for the second and final day of the annual street party in west London. This annual celebration of Caribbean culture began in 1964.

The roots of the Notting Hill Carnival that took shape in the mid-1960s came from two separate, but connected strands. A "Caribbean Carnival" was held on 30 January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall with initial police involvement in these early gatherings aimed at preventing it taking place at all, which resulted in regular confrontation and riots.

How We Are Supposed To Think Of The Carnival

Even by as late as 1970, the newly named Notting Hill Carnival, only consisted of 2 music bands, the Russell Henderson Combo and Selwyn Baptiste’s Notting Hill Adventure Playground Steelband and just 500 dancing spectators.

However the bit of  Caribbean culture which stands out as being celebrated the most, is the annual crime spree and carnage of violence, which accompanies it .... for instance this year over 400 people were arrested at the Notting Hill Carnival over the bank holiday weekend, and three teenagers were among five people who were stabbed. 

This Is How Many See It .....

As of 7pm on Monday, Scotland Yard said they had arrested 284 people during the second day of the event. It came after 156 arrests were made on Sunday. In all 454 were detained and five stabbed ...  The majority of arrests were for weapon offences or drug possession, while 25 people were detained on suspicion of assaulting police officers.

This repeats a regular Cycle of Arrests:
  • In 2007, two teenagers were shot just outside the carnival area. 
  • The 2008 Carnival was marred by rioting right at the very end of the weekend, involving large numbers of youths and injuries to police. Some media outlets captured footage of the violence; and approximately 500 youths were arrested.
  • In 2011 five people were arrested for a stabbing at Ladbroke Grove. The victim was one of 86 people who were taken to hospital. In total 245 people were detained by police over the two days of the carnival.


Since its inception there have been a number deaths associated to violence at the Notting Hill Carnival: current policing, while conciliatory, has led to police deployment in large numbers — upwards of 11,000 - this has acted to simply displace crime associated with the carnival to the periphery.
  • 30 August 1987 - Michael Augustine Galvin, 23, stall holder - stabbed.
  • 26 August 1991 - Nicholas John Hanscomb, 38, bled to death after being stabbed in the thigh.
  • 28 August 2000 - Greg Fitzgerald Watson, 21, stabbed to death after an argument over food.
  • 28 August 2000 - Abdul Munam Bhatti, the police treated this as racially motivated by a gang of mainly black males. Nine men were sentenced for violent disorder in 2002.
  • 30 August 2004 - Lee Christopher Surbaran, 27, shot by a gang using a Machine Pistol for "showing disrespect".

For some reason, the new campaigning organisation ‘Black Lives Matter UK’ has not yet called for this crime carnival to be banned .... this despite it being the source of more black criminal deaths than the police in the UK.

But the the thing about this that irks me the most, is that we spend millions of taxpayers pounds, policing and hosting this annual community event. Money that we don't spend on other more self sufficient communities local events, because the Afro-Caribbean community apparently can't self finance, organise, and police any events themselves, without the rest of us having to pay for it, and police it.


  1. In a previous post I advocated that football clubs contribute for the policing of their events when the crowds spill out onto the streets and I agree with you that the Notting Hill carnival should do the same.

    1. Sadly the Afro-Caribbean community won't do that, just like they don't get sponsorship to pay for the whole thing. Mind you who would want to sponsor an event so closely associated to outbreaks of violence?


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