Dozens arrested in bid to avert trouble at Carnival

Police claim to have collected intelligence from social networking sites that trouble is planned for the Carnival

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The Independent Online

Police have made more than 35 arrests in an operation to ensure violence does not break out at the Notting Hill Carnival after the London riots.

Officers said they had intelligence that a small minority were planning trouble at the event, which has been affected by violence in recent years. At last year's event, 235 arrests were made over the two days, up from 222 in 2009. Two stabbing victims were among a total of 706 people treated by the London Ambulance Service.

Scotland Yard Commander Steve Rodhouse said he would deal robustly with troublemakers in order to avoid similar disturbances to those seen earlier this month. The police chief said he was "really confident" he had the resources at his disposal to protect the the event, where a total of 5,500 officers will be out on patrol on Sunday, and 6,500 on Monday.

"We realise that Carnival will be taking place this year in unusual and exceptional circumstances," Mr Rodhouse said. "In light of what's happened over London over those three nights, it's only right that we've thoroughly reviewed our operation for [it]."

The police chief said troublemakers were plotting disruption via social-networking technology, and added: "At this stage it would be fair to say we do have intelligence that some gangs do want to come to the Carnival and create trouble for us." Scotland Yard was forced to deny claims yesterday that officers were being ordered to keep every riot suspect behind bars.

Reports claimed a leaked document entitled "Operation Withern: prisoner processing strategy" had been circulated to officers investigating the disturbances at their height two weeks ago.

According to reports, the Metropolitan Police devised a policy of holding all people arrested in custody and recommending that courts refuse suspects bail after they were charged. The claims prompted a clarification from the force.

"Contrary to reports, at no point does the guidance issued to officers suggest that all persons arrested should be held in custody nor that cautions or other disposals are inappropriate in relation to Operation Withern," it said. "Where the threshold to charge was not met, 623 people have been bailed to return pending further inquiries, 125 were released with no further action or – in a small number of cases – dealt with by other police disposals. A total of 1,920 people have been arrested, with 864 adults and 234 juveniles charged for disorder-related offences.