London’s Notting Hill Carnival was marred by murder and hundreds of arrests, police said on Tuesday, as the world-famous party returned in person for the first time since 2019.
A 21-year-old man died after being stabbed, while police said they introduced emergency stop-and-search powers in the area due to “a number of violent incidents and serious stabbings”, the latest in a spate of knife-crime incidents in the capital.
“At around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday, August 29 officers became aware of a stabbing in Ladbroke Grove,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
“Officers provided emergency first aid to the victim — a 21-year-old man.
“He was taken to a west London hospital where, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead.”
London police recorded 11,122 knife-crime offences in the year until March 2022, a 9.8 percent increase compared to last year, according to official figures.
At the carnival, officers made 209 arrests, including 46 for assault, 33 for possession of an offensive weapon and eight sexual assaults, said the force.
Alison Heydari, Commander of Local Policing, said early on Tuesday that “the atmosphere over the past two days has been largely positive” but that on Monday evening “we saw a number of violent incidents”.
The Notting Hill Carnival — one of the world’s largest street festivals — was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The three-day celebration of British-Caribbean culture traces its roots back to the 1950s after the first surge in arrivals from former British colonies post-World War II.
Feathered dancers, steel bands and earth-shaking sound systems feature in the vibrant celebration held over the August bank holiday weekend.