Officers ‘dread’ policing Notting Hill Carnival because ‘gangs turn up to settle scores’, a former Metropolitan Police chief has said, as 74 officers suffered injuries at the event.
Roy Ramm, former commander of specialist operations at Scotland Yard, today described how the final day of the annual event ‘degenerates’ into violence because ‘drug sellers and gangs’ turn up to ‘mark their territory’.
It comes as a footballer-turned rapper Takayo Nembhard, 21, has been named as the victim of a fatal stabbing at the carnival on Monday.
Footage has also emerged of a thug brutally punching a woman to the ground as a brawl broke out on the chaotic final day of the carnival.
A total of 441 people were stopped and searched across the two days, while police also received reports of seven stabbings.
Mr Ramm said: ‘For most people it is safe. We saw a good day on Sunday. Yesterday for most of the day it was a safe place and well policed. Police have learned a great deal over many years about how to police the carnival.
‘But there is a time, always on the last day it seems, that it degenerates. The drug sellers, the gangs, seem to reject the spirit of carnival and take the opportunity to settle scores, to mark out territory and bring out the knives.
‘It is a tragedy, a tragedy for the family of the young man who died and a tragedy for the people of Notting Hill.
He added: ‘The trouble is, these young men, and it is young men, they want to fight, mark out their territory and sell their drugs. They are determined to wreck it in the evenings.’
Ken Marsh, chair of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents 30,000 officers in the force, also today demanded that the carnival is moved to a private venue after incidents of violence broke out across the weekend.
He told MailOnline: ‘It is like playing a broken record as the same things keep happening every year. It is very difficult to control, maintain and deal with. Seventy four of my colleagues were injured in what is meant to be a “peaceful” carnival.
Takayo Nembhard, 21, was fatally stabbed on Ladbroke Grove under the Westway flyover at 8pm on Monday – the final day of Notting Hill carnival
Forensics officers comb the scene in Ladbroke Grove, west London, where 21-year-old Takayo Nembhard, a rapper from Bristol, died after being stabbed
Mr Nembhard, a former Bristol Rovers youth footballer, died in hospital after being stabbed on the final day of the carnival yesterday
Mr Nembhard pictured with his girlfriend, who is currently pregnant. She today shared a heartbreaking tribute following the fatal stabbing
Former top cop Roy Ramm (pictured in 2017) said Notting Hill Carnival is ‘safe for most people’ but noted ‘there is a time, always on the last day it seems, that it degenerates’
Footballer-turned drill rapper, 21, was stabbed to death at Notting Hill Carnival
Footballer-turned drill rapper Takayo Nembhard has been named as the victim stabbed to death at Notting Hill carnival after travelling from Bristol to ‘simply to have a good time’ – as police hunt his killer.
Mr Nembhard, 21, was fatally stabbed on Ladbroke Grove under the Westway flyover at 8pm on Monday as thousands lined the streets for the west London carnival.
Police officers gave him first aid until the arrival of paramedics, before he was taken to an ambulance ‘through significant crowds in challenging circumstances’.
Mr Nembhard, who went by the stage name TKorStretch and has just under one million views across his music videos on YouTube, was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead last night.
He was a former youth team player at Bristol Rovers, before turning to drill rapping when he had to retire from football due to an injury. His girlfriend is also currently pregnant, with a poignant tribute saying the ‘child will never meet his father’.
His death was confirmed in an Instagram post today, which said: ‘Two years ago a young 19-year-old man came from Bristol to meet me at my studio with his dad, his name was Takayo Nembhard AKA TKorStretch.
‘That meeting took us on a journey. We recorded some great music together. His talent was endless and I can tell you guys he was close to greatness!
‘So it’s with a heavy heart that I bring the news that Takayo (TKorStretch) passed away last night. He came from Bristol to simply have a good time at the London carnival and this is the end result!
‘My deepest condolences to TK’s mother & father his brother, two sisters, girlfriend and child that will never meet his father! TK was a good kid, a good guy and what has happened breaks my heart. Rest in peace my friend.’
Mr Nembhard’s manager Chris Patrick said in a statement: ‘He went to Carnival with his younger sister and friends to have a good time. This is the worst possible ending for a talented kid.’
Part of TKorStretch’s persona while performing was wearing masks.
In an interview with Wordplay Magazine last July, he explained why: ‘I don’t want my face to be the face everyone knows. I don’t want to go to Tesco and have people know that it’s me who makes the music.
‘I don’t care about fame, I just want to make music and have people enjoy it. I don’t mind talking to people, don’t get me wrong, but if I’m with my mum or sisters or something I just want to be able to chill out.’
He told how he began making music as a teenager after suffering a leg injury while playing for Bristol Rovers’ under-17 team.
He said: ‘I was in the academy from the age of 6 to 16 but had an injury, I had a clot in my right leg, so I knew I wasn’t going to play for a while.
‘Because of that I wanted to find something to keep me focused so I didn’t go insane. I liked singing so I was going to little studios here and there and then started taking it more seriously.’
‘People turn up with knives and someone has been stabbed to death.
‘There were also a lot of altercations happening between various groups.
‘This cannot be the case year after year and we cannot continue to allow this to happen.
‘This needs to be held in a private venue, such as Hyde Park, where it can be a lot more easily controlled.
‘We have had conversations about moving the carnival to a private venue, but the suggestions just get batted away.’
Mr Marsh also blasted gangs that turn up to the carnival ‘to strut around and cause mayhem.
He added: ‘We have a much younger police service now. The number of officers whose first time it was at Notting Hill was 70 per cent.
‘There was a lack of experience for them. They also have a mayor that bashes them morning, noon and night.
‘We have created a perfect storm where people are going to get put in danger.
‘It costs millions of pounds of public money to police. The residents of Notting Hill don’t even want the carnival there. But it just goes on.
‘I have these conversations every time. It is just amazing. These gangs turn up for one reason, to strut around cause mayhem.
‘There are groups turning up with masks and hoods on. They say it is because of Covid, but we know it is because they don’t want to be recognised by police.
‘It seems we are happy that 70 or 80 officers are getting assaulted.’
The Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents the force’s officers, also tweeted earlier today: ‘Sad to report at least 34 Metropolitan Police officers were assaulted at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.
‘We are supporting colleagues. Every year our brave officers come under attack at this event.
‘Colleagues dread policing it. And yet nothing changes.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was ‘sickened’ by the fatal stabbing of Mr Nembhard today.
He said: ‘I urge anyone with information to contact the police on 101 or anonymously by @CrimeStoppersUK. There is no honour in staying silent.’
But Mr Marsh has slammed the inaction of the mayor, who he says has failed to act following years of violence at the carnival.
He continued: ‘Sadiq Khan needs to give clear language on what he is going to do to solve this issue.
‘He cannot keep watching every year and thinking it is acceptable.
‘Tell us how you are going to make it safe. He is the police and crime commissioner after all.’
The Met Police has confirmed officers made 209 arrests at the event, including 46 for assault.
A further 74 officers were also assaulted at this year’s carnival, that also had what is believed to be its first murder since 2004.
The last event, which was held in 2019 before the pandemic, saw 463 crime allegations, according to Met Police records.
The majority of offences were drug related.
Video footage emerged yesterday showing a woman arguing with fellow revellers before being grabbed by her hair and thrown off the pavement and onto the street.
She is then confronted by a man, who yells and wags his finger at her.
She then slaps him, before he retaliates with a hefty punch to the face that knocks her to the road.
Revellers cheered as the brawl broke out at Notting Hill Carnival on Monday evening, video has revealed.
‘Yeah!’ a bystander who filmed the fight was heard yelling as the woman was pulled from the group by her hair.
The videographer oohed and aahed, saying ‘oh my gawd’ as she watched the woman slap the man.
However, when he retaliated with a punch the reveller screamed: ‘No, no, no, no! No way! No f*****g way.’
The woman was helped up off the ground by another woman, presumably a friend, as the man was pulled away by a group of men.
It is unclear if the woman was injured during the incident or if either party involved face charges.
Meanwhile, detectives revealed there were ‘a number of violent incidents and serious stabbings’ at this year’s festival.
Officers are still hunting for a knifeman who stabbed Mr Nemhard to death at the carnival on Monday night.
Officers gave the man first aid until paramedics arrived after the stabbing on Ladbroke Grove under the Westway flyover at 8pm, and he was taken to an ambulance ‘through significant crowds in challenging circumstances’.
He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Met Police said his next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
A Notting Hill Carnival fan punched a woman to the ground as a brawl broke out during the final day of the festival, which police say ‘always seems to degenerate’
Video showed how the woman slapped the man across the face before he retaliates with a punch to the face that knocked her to the asphalt
The woman was involved in a dispute with other revellers when she was grabbed by her hair and tossed onto the street
She was then confronted by a man, who is seemingly yelling and finger wagging at her.
The woman slaps the man across the face before he retaliates with a punch to the face that knocked her to the asphalt
Another reveller screamed ‘no, no, no, no! No way! No f*****g way’ as she fell to the ground. The woman was helped up off the ground by another woman, presumably a friend, as the man was pulled away by a group of men. It is unclear if she was injured
A before-and-after view of Cambridge Gardens in Notting Hill overnight as council teams cleared the streets
Rubbish covers the streets next to a police cordon the morning after Notting Hill Carnival in West London today
A before-and-after view of Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill overnight as council teams cleared the streets
Crowds pictured near a police van as the Notting Hill Carnival in West London comes to an end on Monday evening
Witness Brian Stovell told the Evening Standard of the graphic scenes, saying: ‘I knew by the amount of blood that he wasn’t going to make it. Most people in the crowd were caught up in the movement and vibe of the carnival.’
He also described efforts to try to save the man, adding: ‘There was one woman putting on surgical gloves but she was a civilian. And another woman in distress was in the circle – it looked like she had been with him.’
The newspaper also reported that as officers tried to hold the crowd back from where the man was being given first aid, a woman could be heard shouting through the police line: ‘He’s just a child. Why would they do that?’
As police continued to investigate, they appealed on Tuesday for any witnesses to come forward with video footage or other information, saying there were ‘hundreds of people in the immediate vicinity when this incident took place’.
At 9.30pm, police activated special powers within the area under a Section 60 order which allowed them to stop and search a person without suspicion for ‘dangerous instruments and offensive weapons’ until 1am Tuesday morning.
Police at the scene on Ladbroke Grove in West London Tuesday morning, after a 21-year-old man was stabbed to death last night
Police at the scene of the stabbing at the Notting Hill Carnival in West London on Monday night as blood is pictured on the ground
Police officers on Ladbroke Grove in West London on Monday night around the time of the stabbing at 8pm
Scotland Yard said officers had made 209 arrests since the start of the carnival as of 12.01am today – including 46 for assault, eight for sexual assault, 36 for possession of drugs, five for criminal damage and 27 for public order.
Police added that there were also ten arrests for possession of psychoactive substances, 33 for possession of an offensive weapon, seven for drink or drug driving, one theft, one robbery and 35 more listed as ‘other’.
While the total number of arrests for the whole of this year’s carnival has not yet been confirmed, the number at the 2019 festival was significantly higher at 353 – compared to 374 in 2018, 313 in 2017 and 454 in 2016.
Monday’s stabbing is thought to have been the first murder at the Notting Hill Carnival since 2004 when Lee Christopher Subaran, 27, of Mill Hill, was shot dead at point-blank range near Kensal Green Underground station.
The last day of the two-day festival yesterday, the ‘Adults Day’ parade, ended officially at 8.30pm Monday night after the event saw some 13 steel bands, 72 mast bands, six Brazilian bands, 36 sound systems and 300 stalls involved.