Knife-detecting arches are being used at Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in a bid to make the event safer amid London’s violent crime wave.
The arches will be placed at ‘strategic points’ along the route of the west London street party, but police have not revealed exactly where.
The claim the ‘tried and tested’ method will put people off bringing knives and offensive weapons but not everybody will be expected to pass through them.
The bank holiday weekend event will also be policed by the highest number of officers in six years – 13,000 across the two days.
Knife-detecting arches will be in use at Notting Hill Carnival for the first time ever this year. File image of an arch being used in Vauxhall, south London
Wooden boards have already been put up outside people’s homes in west London
The arches will be placed at ‘strategic points’ along the route of the west London street party. Workers are pictured setting up temporary toilets in west London ahead of this weekend
Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, Met spokeswoman on the carnival, said: ‘We want people to come to the carnival to enjoy themselves and therefore we want to reassure people there is a significant policing plan in place working in support of the organisers to help them do that.
‘One thing they may see that is a little different is that we are using knife arches.
‘We understand the views of the community around the levels of youth and other violence using knives on our streets and we want to reassure them that it is safe to come to carnival.
‘There has been knife crime this year, as in previous years, and we understand the community are concerned about that.
The music is set to stop for a 72-second silence in tribute to the 72 people who died following the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, near the area where the carnival takes place
‘When we were planning for Notting Hill alongside the organisers we wanted to make sure we had the fullest range of police tactics to reassure the Londoners that carnival is safe to come to.’
She said they will be placed in the street and ‘people flow through them’, adding: ‘We won’t be specifically selecting people to go through them. They are designed to go with the crowd flow and detect any people who would think of bringing a knife to carnival.’
The high number of officers is around 450 more than last year and more than the parades over the past five years.
Almost 7,000 officers, some from the Metropolitan Police’s newly formed Violent Crime Task Force, will be policing Monday’s event to ‘combat the threat of violent crime’.
A pub is pictured boarded up in Ladbroke Grove, west London ahead of Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, when there will be 13,000 police officers on duty
This will be up from 6,100 on-duty officers on Sunday’s less busy family day.
Undercover police officers as well as officers from the force firearms and dog unit will be in place.
The event is expected to attract more than one million revellers to its floats, food stalls and music.
The music is set to stop for a 72-second silence in tribute to the 72 people who died following the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017. The tower block is within half-a-mile of the parade route.
Workers are pictured putting up wooden boards outside people’s homes in west London to create a barrier between them and carnival-goers
Partygoers are advised to plan their journeys ahead, avoid bringing valuables and not carry too much cash.
Supt Chapple added: ‘There are no specific threats to carnival this year but we continue to review the policing plan in relation to it.
‘We are aware that in previous years there have been a number of incidents but compared with the number of people coming to carnival the number of incidents isn’t significant, but any incident that does affect Londoners we want to provide reassurance.’
The event is expected to attract more than one million revellers to its floats, food stalls and music
Commander Dave Musker, police gold commander for the event, said: ‘The Met seeks to support Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, carnivalists and local communities to deliver a safe and spectacular event over the bank holiday weekend.
‘Our continued major effort directed against violence across the capital will continue.’
He added: ‘Let no-one be in any doubt that if you have the intention to come to carnival and be involved in crime or violence, my officers will robustly and proactively target you to keep Londoners safe.’
More shops are pictured boarded up in west London ahead of Notting Hill Carnival