Sussex Police are once again joining in on this year’s Pride celebrations that will see thousands of people take to the streets of Brighton and Hove this weekend (5, 6 and 7 August).
As with previous years, the force’s priority is the safety of all those taking part in the weekend’s festivities as well as members of the local community.
Brighton and Hove divisional commander, Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp, said: “We have been working hard for months with the Pride organisers in order to make sure as many people as possible get to have an enjoyable and safe weekend.
In terms of security, where public safety has been significantly compromised as it has been in recent events overseas, we have considered any lessons that we can learn and reviewed our plans to keep Pride in Brighton and Hove as safe as possible.
Whilst the nationally assessed terrorist threat to Pride is unchanged from 2015, we have this year strengthened our contingency plans and have some additional security measures in place. For example this year we will be using some concrete barriers. Most people are unlikely to notice any difference from previous years and none of the changes that we have made should affect the enjoyment of people involved in the Pride celebrations in anyway.
A large proportion of the stewards and event security staff have received additional training prior to this year’s celebrations meaning they are better equipped to recognise and respond to any incidents that may arise. As always, we ask that the public demonstrates a certain level of personal responsibility including things like: taking care of belongings, following personal safety advice and flagging any issues or suspicious behaviour to event staff or police.”
Saturday is the main day of celebrations with the carnival parade starting at Hove Lawns at around 11am followed by a ticketed event in Preston Park. In the evening the Pride Village Party is in Kemptown. Anyone wishing to enter the St James’s Street area between Old Steine and Upper Rock Gardens and Edward Street and the lower Marine Parade will need a wristband.
The Pride flag will be flying at John Street police station and for the third time police vehicles will be showing the rainbow colours.
Chief Supt Nev Kemp added: “I’m looking forward to once again joining colleagues in the parade and having the opportunity to talk to other people who celebrate Pride and help make it a great weekend for Brighton and Hove. I thoroughly enjoy marching with colleagues and I am proud to do so and be part of the biggest event in Brighton and Hove’s calendar, showcasing our uniquely special City and celebrating our LGBT communities. I know that I can speak for my colleagues too when I say how uplifted and appreciative we are with the warm encouragement and appreciation we receive from the crowds of people as we pass by.
Whilst we will be working with Brighton and Hove City Council to keep the city moving and safe throughout the day, there will inevitably be some disruption to traffic with such a large event, so if you were planning to come to the city, don’t be put off but please do allow extra time and think about your travel plans.”
Pride director Paul Kemp said: “Pride have worked throughout the year on planning with our colleagues at Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex Fire and Rescue to ensure we deliver a safe and successful Pride weekend for the thousands of locals and visitors to our city.
We would like to thank Sussex Police for liaising closely with Pride and the extra measures being put in place this year to enhance safety for everybody.”
Sussex Police will have a stand in Preston Park, where you can speak to our LGBT officers and volunteers as well as representatives from Surrey Police. The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, will also have a stand so please come and say hello.
For up to date information throughout the day follow us on Twitter @BtonHovePolice or the Brighton and Hove Police Facebook page. We will also be trialling the use of Snapchat with videos and pictures of the parade and celebrations being posted across the weekend. The aim is to help improve public engagement with a younger demographic and demonstrates the force’s open and honest approach to building relationships with communities using popular and emerging social media platforms.
You can add Sussex Police in Snapchat by scanning the below Snapcode or by searching for Sussex Police in the app.
To see a message from us and the Pride partners click on the link https://youtu.be/fkN5YWJ6TAw
For everything you need to know about Brighton and Hove Pride, including information on travel and wristbands, go to https://www.brighton-pride.org/