Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Annual Boarding Up of properties Event

A commenter on my previous post wondered when the police would have the guts to ban the Notting Hill carnival. I suspect we all know why it's the last thing they'd do, although to put it specifically would leave them wide open to accusations of racism, far, far, easier to ban a march by the EDL despite the fact that it costs less to police an EDL event than the potentially riotous Carnival.
In the past, despite having 11,000 officers on the streets during 2008, around 40 troublemakers threw bottles and bricks at officers once the carnival had finished, while there were 330 arrests.
In 2009 the number of arrests fell to 215, including a group of 38 youths who had planned violence during the event. A 15-year-old youth was also stabbed.
In 2010 there were also two stabbings, resulting in minor injuries to the victims and were 230 arrests across the weekend, with most being for drugs offences and public disorder.
Plus the huge number of police compares with the Royal Wedding, which was deemed a terrorist threat.
Battening down the hatches: Shopkeepers board up windows over riot fears as record police numbers prepare for Notting Hill Carnival
Shopkeepers were today boarding up their windows over fears that the Notting Hill Carnival could descend into the violent scenes that rocked London earlier this month.
Record numbers of police will take to the streets in a desperate bid to deter the rioting and looting that spread across the capital.
There were fears that the carnival could become a focal point for unrest which lead to suggestions that the annual event could be cancelled.
But instead the annual carnival will see the highest number of police officers on duty in the event's 47-year history in the wake of the London riots.
Double the number of officers that policed the Royal Wedding will be on duty at the carnival next weekend, with the Met planning 20,000 shifts split over the two-day event, it is understood.
It is Scotland Yard's biggest public order test since the riots during an unprecedented security operation at the two-day carnival.
Businesses were boarding up their shop fronts earlier today as a precaution in the wake of the widespread violence and looting.
Police received criticism about their handling of the riots and will be keen to ensure there are no repeat disturbances.
More than a million revellers are expected to descend on the capital over the coming days for what is Europe's biggest street festival.
To be honest, unless there was actual rioting going on in London on the days leading up to the event I didn't expect a ban. Though I do expect one of two things, either it will go without a hitch as everyone will be at pains to make sure the event isn't tarnished by the riots (unlikely but possible) Or it will start off quiet and explode as it gets later. (more likely)
 Still, Scotland Yard has staged a series of dawn swoops in a pre-emptive strike to avoid trouble at this year's carnival. A total of 40 suspects have been arrested in raids across the capital which suggests some forethought by the police, but will have done little to ease tensions in the communities involved. Plus I'm quite uneasy about arresting people simply because you think they might be a problem.
I think personally that the Notting Hill Carnival has to be seen as a success by the powers that be who were quite badly shaken by the riots and if that means draconian policing it will be seen as worth it despite our civil liberties being dragged through the gutter again. Problem with overt policing though is that it does have negative consequences too.
It will be interesting to see how this goes, but I predict trouble will erupt at some stage.

6 annotations:

Anonymous said...

Foreigners huh, what can you do with them?

Nothing like that at the Edinburgh Festival. Millions of visitors to our capital over a month. Dancing in the streets. Festival, carnival, comedy, drama, art, culture from all over the globe...

Quiet_Man said...

Probably because the Edinburgh event is inclusive, whilst the Notting Hill even has become almost exclusive to the afro Caribbean culture.

JuliaM said...

I think it'll go off with merely the normal level of crime. Sad to say.

English Pensioner said...

If one organises a small peaceful village fete and it is considered necessary to have a policeman present, the organisers get charged for the service.
If you organise a proven disorderly carnival where there have been numerous crimes in the past, the taxpayers have to pay the cost of some 10,000 police on overtime.
And the government bans the EDL from holding a small protest rally!

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that places where the police are not going to be should the ones doing the boarding up. Best diversion since Normandy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I should think you are right QM. Thank goodness for sensible Scotland.