New measures are in hand to protect revellers at Notting Hill Carnival from the horror of terrorists deliberately driving a vehicle into crowds.
The use of vehicles to mow down innocent people in Nice and on London Bridge has worried Britain’s security agencies. With more than a million people expected at Notting Hill over the bank holiday weekend, the police fear Carnival is a high-risk target.
A report in The Times suggests that vehicle barriers may be used at Notting Hill for the first time. Anti-terrorism barriers have already been installed for the Edinburgh Festival.
All who need to bring vehicles into the Carnival Zone must be prepared for stringent security checks. At the very least, drivers will need to prove their identity and vehicles will have to be registered with police. It is likely that some delays will occur as police check each vehicle entering the area.
Soca News has learned that a suggestion of having trucks stored overnight will not now happen. However, there may be a reduced number of entry points, with bands being asked to enter the carnival route via dedicated roads and then provided with a start position. We also understand that no bands will start from Latimer Road near Grenfell Tower.
Band leaders should check with CAMF and NHC event manager Street Event Company to ensure they have the most up to date information about what they need to do. Organisers and police stress that vehicle owners who do not comply with the new controls will not be allowed to join the carnival route.
SN has also heard that the Met will be using face-recognition software, as well as ‘super-recognisers’ and other tactics, to spot potential troublemakers as they approach Notting Hill. There is particular concern about the trend for using acid in attacks, so some searches targeting drinks bottles may be expected this year.
By Stephen Spark