Police are trialling new crowd safety cameras to avoid crushes at the Notting Hill Carnival as the officer in charge wished revellers “a brilliant weekend.”
The carnival is one of the biggest events on the London calendar with up to a million people expected across Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.
The scale of the carnival requires a huge police operation. As part of the event cameras will monitor the crowds on a live basis so that crush points can be identified and action taken to protect carnival-goers.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alison Heydari said: “I’m hugely excited to be working at Notting Hill Carnival again, it’s always such a brilliant weekend with so much to see and enjoy.
“I’m also looking forward to seeing our officers on duty, taking the time to speak to the people we serve while they work diligently to maintain safety at the event.
“I hope everyone who attends has a fantastic time. Stay safe, plan your routes to and from the area, look after each other and please remember we are there to help you. If you see something that doesn’t look right, do speak to an officer.”
Police and stewards are concentrating on three ‘hotspots’ where problems with overcrowding have arisen in the past. A total of 12,500 officer shifts will be used to police the carnival.
Last year rapper and father to be Takayo Nembhard, 21, from Bristol was fatally stabbed outside Ladbroke Grove station on the last evening of the event.
Detectives earlier this week made a new appeal to bring his killer to justice and a £20,000 reward was put up by Crimestoppers.
There were 133 arrests at Carnival last year.
The festival started in 1966 and features steel bands, floats, DJ sets and other entertainment.