London

Notting Hill Carnival to be 'even larger' in 2012

Notting Hill Carnival 2010
Image caption About a million people are due to visit the carnival over the two days this year

Additional grandstands and new crowd management plans are being put in place ahead of this summer's Notting Hill Carnival.

Organisers said new measures were being trialled ahead of next year's carnival, expected to be the largest ever as it will coincide with the Olympic Games.

This year, there will be a month of events leading up to the Notting Hill parade on 28 and 29 August.

About a million people are due to visit the carnival over the two days.

Speaking at the launch for this year's carnival at City Hall, the co-director of the Notting Hill Carnival Chris Boothman said that difficult economic conditions had made organising the event more challenging.

Funding had been cut for the Notting Hill Panorama, an annual competition for steel bands held in conjunction with the main carnival.

"Despite some setbacks we are determined to provide a fantastic spectacle this year, and we're looking forward to 2012, which could be the most successful carnival ever," said Mr Boothman.

"London's Carnival 2012 will feed off the Olympic Games. So naturally we want to encourage collaborations with different countries, particularly those with a carnival heritage."

A delegation from Brazil, which is hosting the Olympics in 2016 and the football World Cup in 2014, will be visiting Notting Hill this summer with the aim of establishing a partnership to benefit carnival artists in London and Rio.

Known troublemakers

The carnival, which started in 1964 with a small group of Caribbean immigrants, has grown to be the largest street festival in Europe.

The Metropolitan Police have also launched Operation Razorback in an attempt to crackdown on known troublemakers and gangs intent on causing trouble at the carnival.

However, Met Police Commander, Bob Broadhurst, who is in charge of policing the event, insisted that the carnival was "as safe as it can be".

About 5,000 police officers are on duty for each day of the carnival and an average of 250 crimes are reported each year.

He said: "Given the huge number of people who take part in carnival, crime rates are low, and our policing style in recent years has ensured that less people become victims of crime.

"We know that everyone who loves carnival wants that success to continue this year."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites