Police praise Pride London organisers after record turnout

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The senior officer in charge of policing at Pride London has said that all involved should be proud of last weekend’s event.

Chief Inspector Steve Deehan told PinkNews.co.uk that a “fantastic” partnership between Pride London, SFM stewarding company and the emergency services was the reason Pride passed off with few incidents.

Official police figures estimate that 825,000 people participated in Pride London last Saturday, the biggest Pride event in UK history.

“The organisers took on significantly more responsibility for the management of the parade this year, including the traffic management,” said Ch Insp Deehan.

“They did a good job and no doubt will learn from their experiences this year in order to deliver future events.

“I have worked with the SFM stewarding firm on a number of events and on Pride for the last three years.

“I have nothing but praise for them – they bring experience and understanding of the event with them and through the leadership of their organisation, solve a lot of problems quickly before they get out of hand.

“I am very pleased that we achieved what we set out to do and effectively dealt with a number of difficult incidents.”

Ch Insp Meehan said that the Met police had received lots of positive feedback from members of the public about how they handled the event.

“We wanted officers to join in the spirit of the event whilst remaining vigilant and responding professionally,” he said.

He admitted that the Met can do more to inform people about the disruption to road traffic caused by Pride.

“We were not leading on the closures and as such did not put information onto our website about the event,” he said.

“That was a mistake and we recognise that the Met police website will be a central point of reference for members of the public.

“The feedback mechanism we put in place via the pride London website was designed to capture this sort of thing.

“Pride does cause some disruption as do other events, we try to minimise that disruption as best we can.

“It was however a fantastic day for London and great event.”

The huge turnout will boost Pride London’s bid to host World Pride in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic Games.