London’s Notting Hill Carnival turned deadly on Monday when a 21-year-old man was stabbed after more than 200 arrests were made during the annual Caribbean festival.
The event, which took place from Aug. 27 until Aug. 29, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees on the streets of England’s capital, and features live music, performances, and entertainment.
The carnival was back this year for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic, but this year’s spectacle was plagued by death, sexual assault, and hundreds of arrests.
When the carnival last took place in 2019 it saw over a million revelers in attendance. This year’s extravaganza saw a smaller turnout.
London’s Metropolitan Police force made 209 arrests, including 8 for sexual assaults, 36 for possession of drugs, 33 for possession of weapons, and 27 public order offenses,
An additional 35 arrests were labeled as “other” by cops, including 10 more arrests for possession of psychoactive substances, 7 arrests for drunk driving, 5 for criminal damage, and one each for theft and robbery.
Metropolitan Police said in a statement the 21-year-old carnival-goer was fatally stabbed at 8 p.m. on Monday on the streets of the upscale neighborhood famed for Hugh Grant’s 1999 rom-com “Notting Hill” with Julia Roberts.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital, however, “despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead,” police said.
The annual carnival has been taking place on the streets of Notting Hill since 1966 and served as a way of showing solidarity and strength within the growing Caribbean communities in London.
This year’s event saw a host of up-and-coming DJs perform, including Brown Sugar, Candy Love, and Kay Wavey.
After a chaotic weekend and hundreds of arrests, Alison Heydari, Commander of Local Policing, said an investigation led by homicide detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command is under way.
“Officers from across the Met have been working tirelessly over the past two days to ensure that all those who came to Notting Hill Carnival could enjoy the experience safely,” she said in a statement.
“Regrettably, on Monday evening we saw a number of violent incidents and a 21-year-old man has lost his life.”
The Met’s Specialist Crime Command will “pursue every possible line of inquiry to identify those responsible and bring them to justice,” Heydari said.
“There were hundreds of people in the immediate vicinity when this incident took place.”
Elsewhere during the three-day event, a police horse collapsed and died while on duty on Sunday.
Metropolitan Police paid tribute to one of its most experienced and “affectionate” horses, Police Horse Sandown, a 14-year-old chestnut gelding.
“Officers provided emergency care, but the horse sadly died at the scene,” police said.
The horse policed “all types of events” across London since becoming part of the police force in 2015.