A crunch meeting discussing the future of Notting Hill Carnival descended into chaos last night as onlookers flung fury at panelists and said they did not feel safe letting their children walk the streets during the celebrations.

A representative for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea ended up apologising for security that ‘didn’t go smoothly’ – as residents said housing associations had been ‘kettled’, while locked entrances and exits risked ‘another Grenfell’.

Others slammed the meeting as a ‘tick box exercise’ lorded over by ‘condescending’ representatives who did not show enough respect for the crowd.

But choruses of boos greeted the idea of moving the carnival – as residents delivered a resounding judgement on whether it should be held elsewhere in the future.

Police arrested 308 people over the two-day event in West London on the August Bank Holiday.

The event saw ‘unsustainable’ levels of violence with eight revellers stabbed and at least 75 officers assaulted. Six of the officers were bitten, one was sexually assaulted and another suffered a serious hand injury. 

Petrified carnival-goers also saw a hooded thug charging across the street wielding a foot-long machete, while another was spotted raising a zombie knife in the air. This year’s event saw the highest number of stabbings since 2016, when there were 15. 

Last night residents gathered to discuss concerns over Notting Hill Carnival and the future of the event

A young man waves around a machete at Notting Hill Carnival in West London last month

A man is seen running across Ladbroke Grove holding a machete-type blade on August 28

Research by MailOnline today established that there have been 5,319 arrests made over the past 20 years at the carnival – with this year’s total of 308 up by 47 per cent on the 209 at last year’s event, which also saw the first carnival murder since 2004. 

At last night’s meeting, held in Notting Hill, was a mother of one of the boys who had been stabbed at the Carnival. 

She said: ‘My son has been the victim of the stabbing, and I just wanted you all to take a look at what a victim looks like.

‘There is there perception that whoever has been stabbed is up to no good – I’m a normal mother. I work hard and try to provide the best for my children.

‘And on Monday 28, my son left the house not knowing he was going to be safe because he knows that every time he goes out he could be harassed by police or harassed by gangs.

‘So before he left the house he said a prayer for his grandmother always encouraged him.

‘When he left straight away he was stop and searched by police and then he was approached by a group of young people wearing masks. They attacked him.

‘How did you allow him to go home on his own – no safety, no support, kraken2 nothing. He is very lucky to be here.’

Another, Melanie Wolfe, who has lived in the area since the 1990s and founded a community kitchen in the borough added: ‘As the mother of a local child the number one thing that our parents, our children, our youth are concerned about is their safety.

Police detain a young man on Ladbroke Grove on August 28 during the Notting Hill Carnival

Crews who carried out the clean-up estimated collecting 13 tonnes of laughing gas canisters

Last night, organisers the Carnival Village Trust held a post-event residents’ meeting

‘How are they going to remain safe. Get the community involved and make sure our kids are safe. 

‘Because my daughter has just turned 13 – I’m sorry, what am I supposed to do? 



2023 308

2022 209

2021 n/a

2020  n/a 

2019 354

2018 373

2017 313

2016 454

2015 407

2014 252

2013 301

2012 278

2011 245

2010 243

2009 243

2008 280

2007 246

2006 277

2005 183

2004 167

2003 186

‘I want her to go out with her friends, I want her to be loving it, but I also want her to be safe and I want to know what’s happening.

‘Other people are coming in – we’re the residents, we’re the community. Please work with us.’

The representative from RBKC, Director of Cleaner, Greener and Cultural Services Terry Oliver, apologised for security issues on the Sunday of the event.

He said: ‘What has happened this year is that, as most RBKC social housing residents would have known, there has been a change in contract and it didn’t go smoothly on the Sunday and we all hold our hands up for that.

‘But they should have corrected that as soon as possible. We got a lot of complaints on Sunday and they weren’t performing their contracts and I personally met with them and said: “Pull those socks up because this isn’t right.”

‘We’ve got a contract point, we’ve got a spec, they didn’t deliver on it. They put their hands up and then they put more resources into it for Monday and I hop you can all agree that Monday was a lot better.

‘It wasn’t great over that weekend at all and I really do apologise for that.’

There have been growing calls for the annual party to be moved to another location such as nearby Hyde Park, with Policing Minister Chris Philp revealing he could be open to seeing it relocated if this was recommended by the Metropolitan Police. 

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate in the 2024 London mayoral election, called for the carnival to be moved to another area.

The Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents officers in the capital, has also echoed these suggestions.

This map issued in a booklet for residents this year reveals the Notting Hill Carnival area

A man is seen to wield a large machete-type blade on Ladbroke Grove on August 28

A man holds his face in his hands at the carnival as he is escorted away by police on August 28

A man waves a machete-type weapon around at Notting Hill Carnival on August 28

Its vice chairman Rick Prior last week condemned the level of violence as ‘unsustainable’, saying: ‘It is just awful and this sort of violence against officers at this event has become normalised.

‘The officers have a right to come to work and expect not to be attacked, injured, sexually assaulted or bitten. Those bitten will have had to be given anti-viral drugs if the skin was broken, and will now need all sorts of tests – it is horrendous.

‘It has almost become a certainty we will have this violence and terrible treatment of police officers every year and it is just not acceptable.

‘It is a very difficult event to police and of course we recognise the need for this event but it should perhaps be moved to somewhere like Hyde Park where it would be less problematic to police.’

Meanwhile Ms Hall has labelled the carnival ‘dangerous’ and has suggested it should be moved to Hyde Park.

But when suggested at the meeting by one resident, questioners received a resounding answer.

A man said: ‘All I can see is a lot of complaints about the carnival. Everything is a complaint! This is terrible.

‘I would like to ask the police whether we should move the carnival?’

Police officers detain a person during the first day of the Notting Hill Carnival on August 27

Mounted police officers make their way through the streets of Notting Hill last month

Chaotic scenes at Notting Hill Carnival on August 28, pictured around the Ladbroke Grove area

Police officers take their positions during the parade at Notting Hill Carnival on August 28

He received a resounding chorus of ‘No!’ and ‘Never!’ in response from the crowd that lasted nearly 40 seconds.

About the Author Augusta Somers

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