Carnival-goers praised for their good behaviour

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MATTHEW BRACE

Visitors to the Notting Hill Carnival were praised by police yesterday for their good behaviour, but it was a different story at the Reading rock festival where police reported high crime figures.

Scotland Yard said 500 extra officers had been drafted in to cover the carnival compared to last year but, by yesterday afternoon, they had made only eight arrests. The carnival, in its 30th year, drew more than 300,000 people yesterday according to the organisers. They predict more than one million will attend today's main parade.

Organisers said that anyone requiring information on the event should call the hotline on 0181 964 0544.

In Reading, police were having a busier day among the 45,000 rock fans attending the festival. Reported crimes for the first two days of the event, which ends today, totalled 483, compared with 352 last year.

Inspector Martin Elliott, of Thames Valley police, said the most serious crime was a stabbing on the Thursday night before the festival. Last week, police pulled out of covering the event in a row over the cost but an agreement was reached on the eve of the festival.

Although the country's roads were quiet yesterday, the situation is expected to change today when the crowds start to make their way home.

Seaside resorts have been extremely busy over the weekend despite the cooler temperatures and scattered heavy downpours.

Weather forecasters are now not sure if this will prove to be the driest August on record after the showers over the past couple of days. The London Weather Centre said: "It will now be touch and go whether England and Wales break the record for August."

However, temperatures did rise in Weymouth, Dorset, in the early hours yesterday when visitors and local residents, using deckchairs as weapons, were involved in scuffles on the esplanade. Three people were arrested and four policemen were treated for minor injuries.

Much of England and Wales should start the day dry and sunny, but it is expected to cloud over during the afternoon.

The maximum temperature should reach 68F, but north-westerly winds could make it feel chilly in some areas.

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