Handful of arrests as carnival wends its way through Chapeltown

EUROPE’S oldest West Indian carnival exploded in its annual sea of colour as thousands of people took to the streets in West Yorkshire to celebrate in the August sunshine.

Organisers of the West Indian Carnival in Chapeltown, Leeds, said last night that the event had been another fantastic success and praised those in attendance for creating a friendly and harmonious atmosphere.

Despite a large police presence amidst fears of possible trouble in the wake of the riots earlier this month and various problems in Chapeltown over recent weeks, West Yorkshire Police said that as of 8.45pm last night there had been just five arrests.

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One involved an incidence of wounding, though the victim’s injuries were not thought to be serious. Another involved an assault on a police officer.

Earlier in the day, the carnival had included the usual noisy parade from Potternewton Park through Chapeltown, with an array of amazing outfits on display.

Carnival chairman Arthur France, who has been helping organise the event since the 1960s, said he was delighted with how the event had gone.

“We have been very fortunate with the weather for a long time, and for 44 years we have been grateful for the good working relationship we have with the city council and the police – and of course all the people who come from around the country,” he said.

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Among the many people there was Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, who tweeted: “Really enjoyed our time this aft at the Carnival in Chapeltown. Amazing floats and costumes!”

The Chapeltown carnival was taking place on the same day as London’s Notting Hill Carnival, which also went off without any major disorder yesterday, despite a serious stabbing last night.