Sussex Police said its Brighton Pride preparations have been taking place for months – and confirmed armed police would once again be on patrol over the weekend (August 4-5).
As hundreds of thousands of people are set to celebrate Pride, Sussex Police said its priority is the safety of all those taking part in the weekend’s festivities as well as members of the local community.
Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor said: “We have worked closely with the organisers of Pride and our partners in the city to ensure that everyone can enjoy the weekend safely.
“Months of preparation have taken place in the lead up to Pride and as in previous years, public safety is 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.
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“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.
“The weekend weather is due to be very hot and sunny so we would also like to remind people to stay hydrated and wear sun cream. You can find out where to refill your water bottles across the city by downloading this app.”
Sussex Police said it supports the organisers of Brighton and Hove Pride, advocating a drug free event.
Chief Supt Honnor 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.
“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 2018.”
Saturday will see the LGBTQ+ community parade starting at Hove Lawns at around 11am followed by a ticketed event in Preston Park with Britney Spears headlining.
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 new for 2018 ticketed Love BN1 Festival at Preston Park and the Pride Village Party will run on Sunday as well.
Becky Stevens, head of operations at Pride, said: “This year’s Pride is set to be the biggest and the best in the UK.
“Extensive planning takes place year round between Brighton Pride and our partners at Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service.
“We would like to thank our colleagues at Sussex Police and all our statutory partners for their support to Pride in our city.
“We are pleased to welcome everyone to this inclusive and diverse event. Stay safe, look out for your friend and have an amazing Pride.”