Gun Threat At Notting Hill Carnival 2001
Sunday, August 5, 2001London cops are warning that armed drug gangs could spark serious violence at this year's Notting Hill Carnival with additional dangers coming from racists attempting to 'hijack the event'. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens told the Standard last week that he's considering urging people to stay away from this year's event which takes place on August 26th and 27th (Bank Holiday Monday). Council officials also threatened to withdraw support over concerns about the event's policing, complaining that organisers are late in organising security stewards. Carnival organisers, however, told 7 magazine this week that local councillors are actively jeopardising the event.
"Carnival exists to encourage harmony in a multi-cultural environment," they said. "Their (ie the council's) press releases go a long way towards destroying that harmony."
The context for this year's event is certainly difficult, with shootings in London, particularly so called 'black on black' incidents, happening almost daily. Prime Minister Tony Blair, visiting Jamaica this week, admitted there are at least 30 murders in Britain currently linked to Caribbean gangs, importing Jamaican style terror onto London streets. Britain's recent race riots in the North, also suggest that this year's event could be significantly more volatile than any recent Carnivals.