Notting Hill Carnival is as safe as Glasto, we need to stop assuming otherwise

It’s problematic

Every year Notting Hill Carnival is branded as dangerous and a "burden" to the locals in the area. Every year we're told we'll be mugged, stabbed or be involved in some kind of gang rivalry.

No one is denying the potential risks that come with hosting an open event on the streets of London. There is an obvious terror threat, because unfortunately that's the world we live in now. People are also scared of being involved in an acid attack where there are masses of people and no one wants to get caught in the middle of any fights that may erupt.

But those risks come with any event. The fact that we overemphasise the potential dangers of Notting Hill Carnival over other festivals, perpetuates a racist outlook that an event celebrating Caribbean culture would be more dangerous than any other. Yet if you actually look at the stats, Notting Hill is about as safe as Glastonbury, which is often praised for its low arrest rate for the capacity it holds.

Stormzy raised this important point a few days ago when the Met Police seized heroin found 12 miles away in Catford and linked it to Notting Hill Carnival. Because everyone is shooting heroin at carnival nowadays, right?

The first ever Notting Hill Carnival in 1964 showcased the steel band musicians that played in the Earls Court of London. Fast forward 40 years, there are still steel bands, soca floats, and traditional foods like jerk chicken and fried plantain.

Carnival celebrates Caribbean culture and traditions over a two day period, with live music and an amazing variety of food, not gang culture and thuggery like the newspapers would make you believe. If there are protests surrounding Grenfell, that's not on Carnival but on the government officials that failed to respond effectively to the tragedy.

There are some that even want to ban Notting Hill Carnival, due to the potential dangers that could come with the event. Well if we start banning things due to potential dangers – we should ban nightclubs, football matches and every concert or festival in the UK there is. And not just the events that celebrate other cultures, especially the cultures of ethnic minorities.