The chief constable of Bedfordshire Police has described last week’s Luton Carnival as a “wonderful event” in spite of the challenges it posed.
Thousands of revellers basked in the sun as Luton Carnival set up camp in Wardown Park. A strong police presence couldn’t put a dampener on the day, with saw 40 floats parade around the park.
This year’s parade saw the route begin at New Bedford Road, turn at Stockingstone Road and finish at Old Bedford Road, where judges scored each of the floats.
Officers including Chief Constable Jon Boutcher also took part in the parade alongside children from Luton’s Hillborough School.
Chief Constable Boutcher said: “In any given year, the carnival is one of our busiest and most unpredictable days to police.
“Yet against the recent backdrop of the terrorist atrocities in both Manchester and Westminster, and the rise and return of the threat level from Critical back to Severe, this was an even bigger challenge for us all.
“The carnival itself ran without incident and was a wonderful celebration of the diverse cultures which exist in our community.”
No arrests were made during the event, although an incident of criminal damage and a theft of a pedal cycle are to be investigated by the force.
The event involved police from across departments and regional units working together to deter crime and help keep people safe, while taking the opportunity to engage with the community.
Ch Con Boutcher added: “During a difficult week and the carnival itself, we have received many messages of support from the public for the job we do and the support we give to the public on a daily basis.
“Now more than ever our engagement events are incredibly important, and they would not work without the support of our whole organisation and the people of Bedfordshire, so thanks to you all.”
Bedfordshire Police had put a firm plan in place ahead of the carnival and PCC Kathryn Holloway had issued a media statement to reassure members of the public.
One partygoer said: “It’s been a lovely atmosphere and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. We watched the floats as they were getting ready on New Bedford Road and it was amazing.”