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Will I Get Stabbed At Notting Hill Carnival?

Josh Learner on festival safety

Written by . Published on August 26th 2011.

Will I Get Stabbed At Notting Hill Carnival?

THE great British summer; you’re probably wondering where on earth it went. We’ve had festivals, the royal wedding, picnics in the park, but lurking around the corner comes one of the biggest street events in Europe. Think jerk chicken, bootylicious dancers and swarming crowds. Have you guessed what it is yet? For those of you who haven’t – Notting Hill Carnival hits West London over the August bank holiday weekend  (28th – 29th), and London Confidential is extending our benevolent hand to guide you through it unscathed.

‘It’s full of hoodlums with guns and knives tripping out on jerk chicken dancing with big mamas on a float blazing dancehall raggae.’ While some of this may not be far from the truth, it is mostly pure generalisation and irrational stereotyping. 

P8308769If Average Joe 1 walked up to Average Joe 2 enquiring about the content and happenings of Notting Hill Carnival, Average Joe 2 might reply something along the lines of, ‘It’s full of hoodlums with guns and knives tripping out on jerk chicken dancing with big mamas on a float blazing dancehall raggae.’ While some of this may not be far from the truth, it is mostly pure generalisation and irrational stereotyping.

P8318933Getting stabbed or shot is probably something that not too many of you are that keen on, and to be honest London Confidential doesn’t really blame you. Although this is still irrational it is a genuine fear shared by many. The good news is that Notting Hill Carnival saw crime drop by 31% last year from an event, which attracts around a million people over the two days.

The other good news is that there are plenty of ways to avoid getting mugged by a 13-year-old council estate delinquent. Here are a few of them:

Tip 1: Learn to dance samba

Nothing will confuse a crook more than calling his bluff with an onslaught of sexy samba dancing right in his face. With a little bit of luck you’ll confuse him so much he’ll decide you’re not worth his time and jog on to McDonalds for a Big Mac. You’ve got to be alert though, and ready to samba quickly. Samba plays at 100 beats per minute. Have you’re routine ready. Here’s how to prepare:

First, acquire a few CDs of the music and play the music over and over in your home or automobile. Next, count the step timing in time to the music. This, you can do sitting down, perhaps while driving. For example, for waltz, call out the 1,2,3 1,2,3 step timing in time to the music. For foxtrot, call out the step timing using slows and quicks. For cha cha and rumba, it's important to recognize the first beat of each measure. Otherwise you may dance on the incorrect beat. Dancing in correct time to the music is absolutely essential. Continue this sitting down and listening exercise for as long as necessary until you can easily and automatically count the step in time to the music.

P8319047Tip 2: Acquire a stab or bullet proof vest

Depending on how paranoid you are about getting assaulted, there are two options available here. If you’re vanity is important, London Confidential would definitely recommend covert body armour. You can wear it under you’re carnival gear protecting you against any ballistic threats, knives, edged weapons, needles, spikes, grenade fragmentation and violent physical attacks. It is the ultimate stab proof vest. You can look at a diagram here.

Alternatively, for the ultra safe people out there we recommend the overt body armour, which comes as a waistcoat. It covers all of the above all as well as being bullet proof. You can look at a diagram here. You can even choose your own colour and design your own logo. No nasty criminals will bother messing with your comprehensive and hip street protection.

Tip 3: Run

Sometimes in times of crisis it’s better to cut your losses and run for dear life. The carnival crowd provides a perfect setting for losing someone quickly and easily, unless you’re tall and in that case you’re better off ducking your way through the crowd. There are also numerous tube stations nearby to take you away from danger and a map of the area is available here. Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park stations are the most central to the carnival and most likely to be of use to a fleeing carnival-goer.

Elimu YouthsTip 4: Make friends with a copper

It may seem a little obvious but there’s no better way to protect yourself against a potential threat than making friends with PC Plod. Police numbers have risen sharply over the years in response to the continued violence marring the event so locating one shouldn’t be a problem. They’re often very approachable depending on how you conduct yourself. You can forget forming any bond if you’ve already consumed the bottle of spiced rum, ginger beer and that crate of Red Stripe you bought in the morning. Why not pace your self? It may not be much, but offer PC Plod a sip of your beer. He’s obviously going to say no but it’s the gesture that counts. With a bit of luck he might just remember your face and look out for you amongst the crowds.

Tip 5: Bring a decoy wallet with fake money

Getting mugged is never a pleasurable experience. This can be reversed though with the use of decoy props. Before you go to carnival, buy or borrow a naff, cheap wallet (this is essential for illustrating your lack of affluence) and colour photocopy a ten pound note. Follow this role-play dialogue and you might just walk away from it with a smile on your face.

Mugger: I got a knife in my pocket you get me, gimme all your dough innit.

You: What? It’s really loud!

Mugger: I said russsclut, gimme you’re god dam money!! My mate Stanley (pocket knife) wants to say hello and don’t make me call me mate Dwain.

You: Er, er, er.

At this stage you’re probably panicking, thinking about your life and what you did and didn’t achieve. Compose yourself. Casually pull out your carefully presented decoy wallet with a fake ten pound note in it and hand it over. Ten quid should be enough to get rid of the mugger but if it doesn’t work and he sees through, you’re cheeky stunt pull out any of Tips 1,2,3, and 4. It might be worth going straight into the rumba. This will throw him off guard.

These five simple tips should be ample to get you through Notting Hill Carnival 2011. Otherwise, get your whistles, funky glasses, glad rags out and party out the last remaining bit of summer Caribbean style.

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