SAS snipers have been practising stopping trucks using armour-piercing bullets in case Islamic State attempt a Nice-style attack on Notting Hill Carnival, it has emerged. Although no specific plot has been identified, revellers have been advised to remain vigilant while enjoying what will be the 50th Carnival this weekend (28-29 August).
Hundreds of people have been arrested ahead of the carnival and weapons including guns, knives and machetes seized, as some residents and businesses in the area board up their windows.
More than 200 search warrants have been issued by the Metropolitan Police across London in a bid to prevent trouble arising, as it has at some previous events.
Anti-terror officers will be present at the festival, which is expected to draw a crowd of at least one million people, including recognition experts able to spot offenders and people barred from attending the event.
Special face-recognition technology is also being used to compare the features of revellers with a database of suspects and potential trouble-makers.
Authorities have warned for months that the UK is a target for Islamists and with a number of major attacks across Europe recently believe it is only a matter of time before an attack is attempted here.
One possibility would be a repeat of the attack in Nice in which 84 people were killed when Mohamed Bouhlel mowed them down in a truck before being shot dead. SAS snipers have practised stopping a vehicle by smashing engine blocks with special bullets, the Mirror reports. Blocks have been placed across some roads to prevent an attack taking place.
The Met's spokeswoman for Carnival, Superintendent Robyn Williams, said: "The threat level for London has been set at 'severe' for some time now and remains at this level for Carnival 2016. Although there is no intelligence to suggest any increased threat to Carnival, police are asking anyone attending to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police."