Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), David Munro joined Surrey & Sussex officers and Sussex PCC Katy Bourne in Brighton this weekend (5th August) to celebrate this year’s annual Pride event.
The day, which was set to be one of the biggest and boldest yet, saw crowds of around 300,000 people from all walks of life descend on Brighton’s vibrant city centre.
Surrey PCC and National APCC Lead for Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR), David Munro said: “This is a topic very close to my heart and I’m a great supporter of championing our differences.
“This event came at a particularly fitting time; after recognising the 50th Anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales – meaning myself, colleagues and all those attending the event had more reason to celebrate!
“The day helped showcase what an accepting and embracing community we have become and I would like to thank everyone who went to Pride for greeting the police with such enthusiasm and gratitude.
“Like any event, extensive safety planning with partners remains a key priority and I was really pleased to see an abundance of emergency services from across our two counties working together to ensure the event was safe and welcoming to all.
“Pride reflects the true progress in both public attitudes and movements in the criminal justice system towards the LGBT+ community.
“Going to events like Pride makes it hard to imagine a time where people would be criminalised for having a same-sex relationship. Thankfully, times have changed and society today has become more open in terms of understanding and accepting of the LGBT+ community.
“I am of course aware that despite progress made, prejudicial behaviour still exists. In particular, due to traditional, cultural and religious differences, many challenges remain for LGBT+ members of black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.
“Additionally, some members of the transgender community have told me that they too can often feel discriminated against in comparison to people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. So, undoubtedly there is still some way to go.
“We all have a key part to play in reducing hate crimes but I am confident over time – greater changes in the law, increased publicity and improved public understanding will continue the wider acceptance of LGBT+ communities.
“I’d finally like to congratulate all police officers and staff for doing an amazing job in policing Pride this weekend – I think we’d all agree that the event was a huge success and a little bit of rainbow face paint never hurt anybody!”