28th Aug 2012 1:03pm | By Jade Bremner
More arrests were made this year than last year, but London’s biggest street festival ran pretty smoothly this weekend, said the Metropolitan Police.
The two days of raucous dancing in the streets of west London included an estimated one million attendees. There were 299 arrests made, 54 more than in 2011.
7,000 officers were on patrol during the festival. They were "highly visible" explained Commander Bob Broadhurst and had a “swift response” to revellers breaking the law.
Out of the arrests made the majority were for drugs, robbery, assault and public order offences. While 18 were for the possession of an offensive weapon.
"After what has already been a long summer for our officers, this Notting Hill Carnival once again required them to perform to their very best," the Commander stated.
Police intervened on a group of 36 men, thought to be part of a north London gang en route to brawl with their rivals. Armoured officials swooped in at King’s Cross Station to prevent the foreseeable violence. Fifteen of the gang were arrested, but later released without charge.
“Arrests were slightly up but overall we’ve been pleased with the operation,” said Commander Broadhurst. “We made 43 arrests before the carnival as part of Operation Razorback.
"On the arrests at King’s Cross we received intelligence that members of a north London gang were heading to the carnival. They were spotted on the Underground and they were detained until the carnival was over. There is no doubt they were planning on causing trouble.”
With the world’s attention on the Paralympic Games, Commander Broadhurst was adamant the costume-clad celebration would be just that. “The spotlight has been on London all year and we did not want a disorderly carnival after the success of the Olympics.”
“There was an awesome atmosphere – it was brilliant, really relaxed,” said one festival-goer.
“We did not see one fight break out. In the 1990s it had a reputation for being very dangerous, but it was happy and everyone was up for having a good time,” said another attendee.