Police crackdown on knife crime ahead of Luton carnival

A series of weapon searches are taking place in Luton ahead of the annual carnival.

It's part of a week-long campaign by Bedfordshire Police to crackdown on knife crime.

It comes just a few weeks after the fatal stabbing of 20-year-old Waryam Hussain in the town.

In the past the events of the day have been spoilt by violence later in the evening.

In 2016, three people were arrested and jailed after an attack in the town centre following the event.

Officers in Bedfordshire are keen to make sure that that doesn't happen again this year.

Knife crime isn’t something that will be tolerated in our county, and running initiatives like Operation Sceptre send a clear message to our communities. Importantly this week we were able to educate our young people on the consequences of knife crime, as well as engage with our communities.

Inspector Mark Farrant
Officers have been out in Luton looking for weapons that have been discarded or hidden Credit: Bedfordshire police

Pupils at Farley Junior School in Luton have been preparing for their performance at the carnival on Sunday.

They're going to be playing the steel drums and dancing as part of the festivities.

The finishing touches are also being made on the extravagant costumes.

The theme of this year's carnival is "Home Is Where The Heart Is" and organisers are hoping the day will be a triumph.

The carnival will take place at Wardown Park on Sunday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Ahead of the carnival, police have offered the following safety advice:

  • Stay together – make sure everyone sticks together and gets home safely, either with the group or in a taxi. Plan your routes home in advance, bearing in mind road closures which are being put in place within and surrounding the Carnival footprint.

  • Stay secure – remember to keep your mobile telephone and other valuables out of sight. Ensure bags are properly closed and keep them close to your body.

  • Stay safe – Police will be maintaining a presence in the Carnival footprint and around Luton, but when making your way home try to keep to main roads with streetlights and avoid dark alleyways and shortcuts.

  • Stay calm – Report any concerns about suspicious behaviour or criminality immediately to the nearest steward or officer, or alternatively call 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999. If an incident occurs, stewards and police will be able to help.

  • Stay sensible – Excess alcohol and the use of drugs will not be permitted. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so sensibly and if the weather is warm ensure you are hydrated and not over-exposed to sunshine.

  • Keep children safe – familiarise yourselves with welfare points. Stewards and officers will have wristbands for children in case they get separated.

  • Leave your animals at home – the carnival is a fun and family friendly event but the noise levels and large numbers of people make it unsafe for pets. Under the animal welfare grounds you will be asked to leave if you bring a dog to the carnival. Do right by your dog and leave it at home.

Organisers are getting the costumes ready for the carnival Credit: ITV News Anglia