A stabbing at the annual Notting Hill Carnival in London ruined the city's hopes of ending the summer without further incident. On Monday, a young man was stabbed in the stomach in the north London neighborhood. He was hospitalized in a critical, but stable, condition.
Five people have been arrested over the stabbing, most recently a 16-year-old who was captured Tuesday morning.
Still nervous from the riots that spread across England only weeks ago, Scotland Yard sent 6,500 police officers into the area for the event. That is more than were on duty during the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and there are 4,000 more officers currently on stand-by.
On Aug. 6, a protest in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham ignited a powder-keg that burst across the nation. Rioting started in the capital then spread to a number of other British cities, including Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Liverpool. Five people were murdered in as many days, while rioters destroyed property, looted stores and set fire to buildings and vehicles.
Before the riots, there were approximately 3,000 officers on any given day in the capital. That number swelled to 16,000 by Aug. 10, when police finally managed to take control of the country after four days of looting and anarchy.
A total of about 200 people were detained in the two days of the Notting Hill fair, a number which pales in comparison to the 2,000 arrested in the riots. Some London residents wanted the annual event to be cancelled, but officials decided that the Notting Hill Carnival, which was originally established as a positive response to racial tensions in the late 1950s, would continue as scheduled.
I thought it was very important, Mayor Boris Johnson said. Obviously there was 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 after what happened earlier in the month.'
An otherwise peaceful neighborhood, upscale Notting Hill was attacked during the events earlier this month. Masked looters with bats stormed a restaurant in the neighborhood, demanding that diners hand over wallets and jewelry.
“I had come to terms with the fact that it would be an expensive dinner, but boy, I had no idea how expensive, a tourist eating at The Ledbury wrote on a blog a day after the robbery.
When a second round of hooligans attacked the two Michelin star eatery, the restaurant staff ushered patrons into bathrooms and the wine cellar before arming themselves with rolling pins, knives and other kitchen utensils. They then fought back would-be looters, who quickly fled the scene.