Million revellers set for carnival

More than one million revellers are expected to descend on London over the next two days for Europe's biggest street festival - the Notting Hill Carnival.

Dancers wearing vibrant costumes will parade along the packed three-and-a-half mile route in west London from 9am on Sunday to the sounds of traditional steel drums.

The lines of colourful floats will be accompanied by more than 40 static sound systems and scores of Caribbean food stalls during the event, which is now in its 48th year.

A massive security operation will also be in force with thousands of police officers set to take to the streets.

A total of 5,000 officers will be on duty on Sunday, followed by 7,000 officers on Monday, Scotland Yard said.

Police have already arrested 27 people during an operation to crack down on suspected troublemakers ahead of the carnival.

Commander Bob Broadhurst, in charge of the policing operation, said: "Well over one million people attend the Notting Hill Carnival every year. Given these huge numbers, crime is low. What we want is for those million people to enjoy the event without worrying about the crime and violence that has been caused by the small minority in the past.

"This has been a summer like no other in London and the carnival is a centrepiece in our capital's event diary. The costumes, music and festivities create a unique swathe of colour and culture on the streets of west London.

"If you're coming to this year's event we want you to have a safe and enjoyable time. Please look after your belongings, and particularly keep an eye on your mobile phone. Almost half of those people who were victims of pickpockets last year had a mobile phone taken."

Police said screenings will take place at entrances to the carnival to scan for weapons. Last year's event was marred after a 20-year-old man was stabbed towards the end of the festival.