Police have been accused of using stop and search powers to “intimidate” Notting Hill Carnival festivalgoers.

The comments from Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell come after data was released revealing that the number of stop and searches at the annual event more than doubled this year.

In 2022, a total of 371 festivalgoers were stopped by officers, but this year that number stood at 798 people.

A large majority of those stopped at the carnival this year were released without further action – 638 in total.

Caroline Russell AM has since claimed that this seems “a far cry from…precise policing”.

She said: “638 people had their day at Notting Hill carnival wrecked by being pulled out of the crowd and searched without any further police action.

“I witnessed stop and searches that appeared to be random and lacking any intelligence behind them, simply serving to intimidate festivalgoers.”

The Assembly Member added: “This dragnet approach by the Met must stop if they hope to regain the trust and confidence of Londoners.”

In total, 82 people were arrested after being stopped by officers at the carnival this year.

A Met spokesperson has now defended the policing response to the event, claiming that stop and search powers help to save lives.

They said: “Our policing operation for this year’s carnival was to ensure all those attending could do so safely, and enjoy the celebrations. 

“In direct response to intelligence that weapons were being brought by individuals to the event, we took the decision - in consultation with the event organisers, partners and community members - to impose a section 60 order across the two days, giving officers additional powers to search people.”

They added that while thousands were able to enjoy themselves on the streets of Notting Hill, eight people were stabbed after violent incidents.

Hundreds of people were arrested, including some on suspicion of possession of offensive weapons, assaults on officers and sexual offences.

The Met spokesperson said: “Used appropriately, stop and search powers save lives and is an important tactic to keep Londoners safe, helping us identify criminality and take dangerous weapons off our streets.

“We want to work with our communities, with a collaborative approach, and to ensure that we have their consent in using tactics to keep them safe."