Masked men with large machetes attack carnival, eight people stabbed

London’s iconic Notting Hill Carnival, known as Europe’s largest street party and a celebration of Caribbean music and culture, was marred by a surge in violence and arrests this year. The two-day event, held on August 27 and 28, attracted over 2 million attendees. However, the festivities were overshadowed by stabbings, riots, and numerous criminal incidents. This year’s carnival witnessed the highest number of stabbings in seven years, with eight people injured, including a 29-year-old man in critical condition.

Videos circulating on social media captured disturbing scenes of young people dressed in black and wearing ski masks running through the streets. One individual was seen wielding a large machete, while another approached a group of people brandishing a weapon. In addition to the stabbings, there were reports of assaults on police officers, drug possession, and sexual offenses. The Metropolitan Police made 275 arrests during the carnival, and 75 officers were attacked, including one who was hospitalized.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, who oversaw the policing operation, expressed regret over the violence that marred the carnival for the second consecutive year. While acknowledging the significance of the event on London’s cultural calendar, he emphasized the need to address the stabbings, sexual assaults, and attacks on police officers. The police described the attacks as “absolutely disgusting” and expressed concern about the safety of their members during the event.

The Notting Hill Carnival, which has been held since 1966, serves as a way to showcase solidarity within the growing Caribbean communities in London. It is the UK’s largest celebration of culture, diversity, and inclusivity, featuring vibrant costumes, music, dancing, and food. However, the recent surge in violence raises concerns about the safety and security of the event. Last year, the carnival also experienced violence, with a fatal stabbing and over 200 arrests.