The largest street festival in Europe.  Led by British West Indian Community since 1966 on August bank holiday, with the preceding Carnival SilhouettesSunday classified as ‘Children day’. 

I understand that this is not just a cultural event, but a portrayal that people from different walk of life can come together and celebrate, it is about togetherness, even forgiveness. However, there are aspects of the carnival that I do not support.

Of course, it would be naive to think that where thousands of people congregate some conflict would not occur.  There have been five deaths at the Carnival since 1987, granted that no more deaths since 2004 there are other criminal activities that have marred the carnival.

So far police have made over 100 arrests and five people have been stabbed, one is believed to be in critical conditions.  The police have confiscated and arrested 13 people for having offensive weapons. 

This event that celebrates culture, diversity yet there are those who are determined to undertake criminal activities mar the spirit of the carnival, and those are some of the negative aspects that prevent me from attending the event.  

I cannot understand if you are participating in a celebration to enjoy yourself why would you want to carry a knife with you.  For me, if you leave your home with an offensive weapon such as a knife or knives unless you are a chef on your way to work, then you intend to use it.  

In my opinion, I want to see a stiffer sentence for those who carry a knife on their person.  Carrying a knife without a valid reason, they should be charged and sent to prison for at least four years.  Society should not wait until they use a knife before justice happens.

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