Sussex Police is 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 (2, 3 and 4 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.
Chief Superintendent Jane Derrick said: “As in previous years, we have worked closely with the organisers of Pride and our partners across the city to ensure everyone can enjoy the weekend safely. Months of preparation have taken place, with public safety being our main priority.
“Similarly to last year we will have a number of armed officers working across the city over the weekend. A large number of our own officers, local authority staff, security staff and event organisers have received specialist training to help them better identify and deal with potential risks.
“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.”
Sussex Police support the organisers of Brighton and Hove Pride and advocate a drug free event. Public safety is the force’s main priority to ensure the event is both enjoyable and safe for all.
Chief Supt Derrick said: “We want everyone to be proud and support a drug free Pride. The possession, use or supply of illegal drugs, including cannabis, will be investigated and dealt with by officers.
“Just yesterday (Thursday, August 1) we conducted two drugs warrants in the city where class A and C drugs, a quantity of cash and drug paraphernalia were seized. A 32-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of possession of a class A drug and the acquiring or use or possession of a criminal property, and a 40-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
“The devastating effect of drug use can have a much wider impact than just on the person taking them.
“Most illegal drugs are cut with other substances, substances which could have an adverse effect on your body and cause serious illnesses and in extreme circumstances, death.
“With Pride organisers, we want to promote an inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere for all. We look forward to seeing you there and wish you a fun Pride 2019.”
Saturday is the main day of celebrations with the LGBTQ+ community parade starting at Hove Lawns at around 11am followed by a ticketed event in Preston Park. In the evening the Pride Village Party will take place in Kemptown and anyone wishing to enter this area will need a wristband.
Sunday will see the ticketed Love BN1 Festival at Preston Park and the Pride Village Party.
Sussex Police have worked throughout the year on planning with Pride organisers, Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue and travel organisations to ensure we deliver a safe and successful Pride weekend for the thousands of locals and visitors to our city.
Head of Operations at Pride Becky Stevens said: "We would like to thank Sussex Police for all their support and handwork throughout the year to help us plan and safely deliver one of the biggest LGBTQ+ Pride's in the UK.
"Our campaign this year is We Stand Together which highlights the importance in uniting all our LGBTQ+ communities and allies.
"We ask everyone visiting the city and participating in the events to respect each other, respect the police, staff and volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the weekend. "
Sussex Police will have a stand in Preston Park, where you can speak to our LGBT officers and volunteers.
For up to date information throughout the day follow us on Twitter @BtonHovePolice or the Brighton and Hove Police Facebook page.
For everything you need to know about Brighton and Hove Pride, including information on travel and wristbands, go to www.brighton-pride.org.
Author: Hannah Butt