Blood on the streets of Notting Hill

These extraordinary images capture the Notting Hill Carnival descending into violence, with a man left seriously injured after he was stabbed last night and 170 were arrested on the streets of London over two days.

Youths, at least one of whom was wielding a knife, were involved in scenes reminiscent of the rioting that scarred the city’s streets earlier this month.

Three people were arrested after a man was found on Ladbroke Grove with what is believed to be stab wounds to the abdomen and hand, at 6pm yesterday. The victim was believed to be in his twenties, the London Ambulance Service said.

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At 8:30pm there was no cordon in place but more than 50 officers were positioned close to the scene.

The violence flared despite a record number of police officers patrolling the streets for the second day of the Notting Hill Carnival, as Scotland Yard continued its unprecedented security operation after the riots.

The festivities got off to a peaceful start on Sunday, with more than 5,500 officers on duty as revellers arrived for Europe’s biggest street festival.

Later, Commander Steve Rodhouse announced that the police presence would be ramped up with an additional 1,000 officers, bringing figures to 6,500.

By the end of Sunday, there had been 82 arrests, and last night there had been a further 88. Ambulance staff had treated 241 carnival goers, with 27 taken to hospital, by 7pm yesterday.

A total of 253 people needed medical treatment and 32 were taken to hospital.

A total of 305 ambulance service staff were on duty at the carnival this year – 160 yesterday and 145 on Sunday. They were joined by “hundreds of volunteers” from the St John Ambulance Service.

Officers from the dog support unit also seized three pit bull-type dogs yesterday under the Dangerous Dogs Act but no-one was arrested, the force added.

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On a visit to the carnival, London mayor Boris Johnson defended the decision to allow the festivities despite worries about street violence following this month’s riots.

He said: “I thought it was very important that we should go ahead. Obviously there were quite a few people who wrote to me saying, ‘for heaven’s sake, scrap it’.

“But we said ‘no, that would be wrong, because that would be an admission of defeat, if you like, after what happened earlier in the month’.”

Mr Johnson also expressed his pride at how the police operation was handling the carnival and the way in which revellers had so far respected the earlier closing time imposed.

He said: “Obviously the police have got some tough calls to make, but I think people are very helpful, they want to respect the police’s advice if they possibly can, and I just want everybody to continue to enjoy themselves in the way that they’re doing, in a sensible way showing off London at its best.”

Asked if he had advocated a soft approach from police officers, the mayor said: “Operational decisions are very much down to the police and you’ve got to respect that, but I think they’re doing a good job and I hope everybody will co-operate with the authorities and with the organisers, who are doing a great job also.”