This year’s Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival, was the best ever. Despite the cloudy skies, the carnival brought the streets to life in its own unique way with record numbers and little reported crime. After the two murders in 2009, there had been major safety worries concerning this year’s carnival. To deal with these fears several changes were made. Firstly, the route for the carnival was changed to avoid the narrowest streets in Notting Hill, a residential area with many small roads. Secondly, the carnival organisers provided more stewards and they received better training. Finally, the organisers ensured that the ending time, 9 p.m., was closely observed.

Following these changes, Carnival 2010 saw more than a million people party in the streets of Notting Hill. More than 3,000 people dressed in spectacular colourful costumes and paraded and danced through the streets, crowds of four and five people deep lined the route to try and see the event. Residents partied on apartment balconies and even the police took part. Apart from the carnival parade, the local area was filled with sound systems pumping out music of all different kinds – Samba, Reggae and Rap music being the most common.

Police yesterday said that 56 arrests were made over the weekend, which included 30 arrests for pick-pocketing and three for robbery. The chairman of the Notting Hill Carnival Trust, Chris Mullard, yesterday said, “The criticism of the event has been ill-founded and I hope people will now see the carnival for what it is; a wonderful opportunity to project the multiculturalism that is metropolitan London.”

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