Armed police to patrol Brighton Pride with security barrier to protect marchers

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Armed police will patrol Brighton Pride next weekend, in response to recent terror incidents across the UK.

The UK’s largest Pride celebration, the event in the seaside town of Brighton attracts hundreds of thousands of LGBT people every year.

Ahead of this year’s Pride event, which takes place on August 4-6, police announced they would be upping security around the event.

The decision comes in the wake of terror attacks in London and Manchester.

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor of Sussex Police said: “Months of preparation have taken place in the lead up to Pride and as in previous years, public safety is our main priority.

“We are taking all reasonable steps to ensure the wellbeing of those attending as well as minimising disruption to those going about their daily business.”

He added: “Similarly to last year we will have a number of armed officers working across the city over the weekend and we will again be making use of the National Barrier Asset.

“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.

“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 2017.”

The National Barrier Asset, commonly known as the ‘ring of steel’, involves the deployment of temporary protective security barriers to protect high-profile locations or temporary events, such as political party conferences.

The system was developed to counter vehicle-borne suicide attacks.

Paul Kemp, Managing Director of Brighton Pride CIC, added: “As we celebrate the milestone of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminaliastion of homosexuality in England and Wales, this year’s Pride is all set to be one of the best ever.

“Extensive planning takes place year-round between Brighton Pride CIC and our partners at Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council, ESFRS and SeaCamb.

“Our detailed event management plans are continuously updated to reflect all relevant advice and legislation and reviewed by all parties and a citywide Safety Advisory Group.

“Pride would like to thank our colleagues at Sussex Police and all our statutory partners for their support to Pride in our City and, as always, ask locals and visitors to Pride to be vigilant and look out for each other.

“Have an amazing Pride.”

Related: Vera Lynn turned up to Brighton Pride to join gay men’s choir