Two shot at Notting Hill Carnival

LONDON (Reuters) - Two young men were shot during the Notting Hill Carnival as sporadic violence broke out among a hard core of troublemakers, police said on Tuesday.

A 14-year-old was hit in the leg and a 17-year-old suffered a shoulder wound on Monday, but neither was in serious condition.

A small number of people suffered minor stab wounds when a group of youths tried to disrupt the Bank Holiday street festival in west London.

Violence broke out on Monday afternoon, when a “hard core, mainly of young men” arrived “not to enjoy the event but to fight, commit crime and cause trouble”, according to a police spokesman.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Chris Allison, in charge of policing for this year’s carnival, said: “our officers had to work hard and deliver a strong interventionist style of policing late into the night to make sure that these criminals were not allowed to take over the streets of Notting Hill.

“Unfortunately, we witnessed groups fighting; objects being thrown at police and large groups of youths pushing roughly through crowds.

“Two young men were shot, fortunately not seriously injured, and a small number of people suffered minor stab wounds.”

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“This behaviour -- coupled with the range of weapons we took off people both before the event and during -- leads us to believe that this year’s Carnival was a draw for people determined to commit crime and cause trouble.”

Arrests totalled 206, slightly down on last year’s figure of 214, while the number of reported crimes was also down by about 55, to 336.

Two people were arrested for attempted murder, while others were arrested for crimes including indecent assault, having an imitation firearm or offensive weapon, criminal damage, possession of drugs, being drunk and disorderly and handling stolen goods.

The annual two-day festival, Europe’s largest street party and the world’s second-biggest after the Rio Carnival in Brazil, attracted around 600,000 people.