Notting Hill Carnival: Met Fed Chairman speaks out of safety

Notting Hill Carnival: Met Fed Chairman speaks out of safety

The Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has called for a full scale review of the Notting Hill Carnival after 43 police officers were injured at this year's event.

Ken Marsh spoke out over fears over safety as 8 police officers were hospitalised following clashes with Carnival goers.

His views featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio London, local and national TV and across the National Newspapers. 

He said police officers "dread" working at the annual event and that the many millions of pounds spent policing the Carnival should come under severe scrutiny as the violence continues.

"Enough is enough," said Mr Marsh. "This is not a peaceful and fun loving event that our members look forward to policing. They dread it.

"A seemingly growing number of people appear intent on hijacking this Carnival and turning it into a Bank Holiday battleground. And an excuse for using our members as professional punchbags.

"Last year we had an officer stabbed. This year colleagues were assaulted, abused and spat at. Forty three were injured - with eight needing hospital treatment. How can that be right? It's completely and utterly unacceptable.

"The Glastonbury music festival had 40 arrests this year. Notting Hill had 10 times that amount.

"Year after year there are such high levels of violence against police officers and the public at the Carnival. And yet year after year nothing changes. Something needs to be done.

"The organisers need to understand that this event cannot carry on regardless. I think many Londoners will wonder whether the significant amount of tax payers money spent policing this event is frankly worth it."

Mr Marsh said the Federation would be speaking to the Commissioner and the Mayor's office about what more can be done to safeguard both police officers and the public at the event.

The Met said that 17 people were arrested for assaulting police officers at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival and that more than 440 people had been arrested across the two-days.

More than 7,000 police officers worked to maintain order in an operation said to have cost in the region of £6 to £8 million.

London Ambulance service said more than 1,000 people had been treated over the two days of the festival, with 170 of the most seriously injured taken to hospital.

The Met also said there had been four stabbings at the event.