Straight constable proudly leading gay police in Brighton

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A new milestone will be reached in Brighton when a Chief Constable will lead his officers in a Pride parade for the first time.

Heterosexual Chief Constable Joe Edwards will head the front of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Sussex Police officers at Brighton Pride tomorrow.

It’s a far cry from the early days of the Pride parade and indicates the immense changes in attitude within the police forces up and down the country.

For the last two years, officers from Sussex Police have been allowed to march in uniform and received the largest applause from the thousands of gay and straight spectators.

Mr Edwards expects to join around 30 Sussex Police officers, staff and friends marching in the parade from the seafront to Preston Park.

Officers and staff will also be running a Gay Police Association stand at the Festival in Preston Park. Pride participants will be able to speak to police officers, community support officers and police staff about job opportunities. A similar stand at last year’s event saw many enquiries and requests for application forms.

“Our (Sussex Police) participation in Pride is part of the ongoing commitment by Sussex Police to show support for the Pride event and to build on partnerships between the police and the LGBT community in the city,” said Chief Constable Edwards.

“We have seen that officers and staff attending Pride in uniform has a positive impact on the confidence of the LGBT community. It demonstrates that not only do officers police the LGBT community, but they are also part of that community themselves and not ashamed to show this publicly,” he added.