Two teenagers aged 14 and 17 were shot and several people stabbed at Londons Notting Hill Carnival as determined trouble-makers descended on the West London on Monday afternoon, police told reporters following the annual street parade.
"Our officers had to work hard and deliver a strong interventionist style of policing late into the night to make sure that these criminals were not allowed to take over the streets of Notting Hill, London police chief Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Chris Allison told the BBC.
"Unfortunately, we witnessed groups fighting; objects being thrown at police and large groups of youths pushing roughly through crowds. Two young men were shot, fortunately not seriously injured, and a small number of people suffered minor stab wounds, he added.
The incidents marred an otherwise unusually tranquil two day event which saw up to 1.6 million revelers dancing on the West London streets and occurred as Conservative leader David Cameron proposed censoring rap videos to help tackle gang culture. Cultural expert Dreda Say Mitchell, author of Killer Tune, was unimpressed, pointing out that most rap videos celebrate wealth rather than violence.
The real problem with rap is that far from undermining society's values it's reinforcing them, and the most fundamental of all our society's values at the moment is that you are what you own, he told the Guardian, Commercial rap's money and success ethic won't do any harm to middle-class youth; they have access to the professions and property where they can participate in it. For working-class youngsters, taught by our culture since the 1970s that they're losers and failures, it's part of a profoundly poisonous cocktail of attitudes.
Fellow Guardian columnist Madelaine Bunting also cited inequality as a key factor driving British youth crime with kids needing meaningful opportunities to reject the criminal path.
As a report for the Home Office by the University of Portsmouth commented, what the gang violence often has in common is a culture of hyper-materialism that is obsessed with high-status possessions such as cars, clothes and jewellery, she said, This is the literal, unmediated reading of the consumer, celebrity, winner-takes-all rubbish incessantly pumped at us, she suggested.
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)