Londoners have taken to the streets in their thousands this weekend, as Notting Hill Carnival returned to the capital for the first time since 2019. The legendary event, which celebrates Caribbean culture and its influence on London’s heritage, takes place on the August bank holiday weekend every year, and today (Monday, August 29) will be the last day of celebration.
Although most carnival-goers have a crime-free experience, as with any event where thousands (or even millions) of people gather, there are bound to be some issues. According to reporting from The Sun, 38 people have been arrested at the event so far for a variety of offences from sexual assault, to drugs and weapons.
According to The Sun, there were 10 arrests for assault and two specifically for sexual assault. The Met Police added that, so far, they have arrested five people for possession of drugs at the festival.
Aside from these arrests, a police horse also died after collapsing at the return of the Notting Hill Carnival. Metropolitan Police Events tweeted last night (August 28) that the animal had fallen while on duty at the annual Caribbean festival event in the capital.
In a statement, the force said: “At around 21.00hrs, a police horse on duty at Notting Hill Carnival collapsed. Officers provided emergency care, but the horse sadly died at the scene. It is too early to determine the cause of death. An investigation will now follow. Officers form a very close bond with the animals they serve alongside. Our thoughts are with all our mounted branch colleagues tonight.”
Elsewhere, a video circulating on social media shows a bus shelter collapsing while Notting Hill Carnival revellers danced on top of it in Ladbroke Grove on Sunday evening (August 28). Video footage shows around seven men stood on top of a bus shelter, waving at the packed crowd below them and dancing.
The footage then catches the exact moment the roof of the shelter falls through and the men crash to the ground. The large crowd at the carnival is heard gasping and exclaiming in shock at the turn of events. Two people suffered minor injuries in the incident but did not need further treatment, according to the Met Police.
Although some are bound to have negative experiences at the carnival, the vast majority have been enjoying the time of their lives. One woman even travelled all the way from Geneva to attend this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.
Farah Mokaddem, 32, travelled over 600 miles to London specially to attend Notting Hill Carnival. She said: “I always wanted to go here. The atmosphere is very animated: everyone is on their balconies and on the terrace. And people of all ages are watching as people go past.
Notting Hill Carnival was first held in 1966. It celebrates the rich history of Caribbean culture in London.
The first Notting Hill Carnival attracted around 500 people. The carnival has since grown to become the largest street festival in Europe, attracting hundreds of thousands to London. You can usually expect to see some 50,000 performers in the parade and more than 30 sound systems, with more than one million people attending over the weekend.