Carnival crowd nears 1 million

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The Independent Online
NEARLY one million people thronged the streets of west London yesterday in one of the largest ever annual carnivals at Notting Hill.

Police estimated the crowd at 800,000, while the organisers put it at nearer a million. The carnival, Europe's biggest street festival, passed off fairly peacefully with 47 reported crimes and 20 arrests, mostly for public order offences. Fifty-nine people suffered minor injuries.

This figure included a 28-year-old woman stabbed in the neck as she returned home on Sunday and a man who was attacked with a knife at the former Mangrove Club and treated for a wound above his eye.

Mass arrests were made elsewhere over the bank holiday weekend when police stopped an illegal rave in Buckinghamshire and raided a rock festival in Reading.

Police arrested 97 people at the Buckinghamshire event, advertised as a Bank Holiday Free Festival 72-hour event organised by the London-based Paranoia and Spiral Tribe. Amplifiers, generators and other electrical equipment were confiscated when police confronted the would-be ravers as they tried to settle in Thrift Wood, Bletchley.

Robert Davies, assistant chief constable at Thames Valley police, described the ravers as unscrupulous. 'These raves . . . are attended by crime and cause a great deal of disruption to local residents and landowners,' he said. The 97 people were later released.

More than 20 people from the Reading Rock Festival were brought before magistrates yesterday charged with offences ranging from being drunk and disorderly to possession of drugs. Several were found to be carrying small amounts of white liquid which analysis showed to be a treatment for acne. Police said charges had been dropped from revellers carrying the substance.

Motor racing enthusiasts brought traffic to a standstill around the British National Touring Car Championships at Thruxton, Hampshire.

Bathers at Ryde on the Isle of Wight were alerted after stinging jelly fish left dozens of people with painful, swelling rashes. Bathing with hot water was recommended as the best treatment.

In North Wales, the search was called off for a 51-year-old retired Birmingham businessman missing after a boat sank a mile off Barmouth. His friend Harry Dunn, 60, from Solihull, West Midlands, was rescued. He said the man had planned to swim ashore, and took his lifejacket off to swim better.

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