Police arrest 40 over drugs and drink at Brighton Pride

Pride organizers defend Sussex Police after accused of 'kettling' anti-government group Queers Against Cuts during the parade

Police arrest 40 over drugs and drink at Brighton Pride
03 September 2012

Police have hailed Brighton Pride a ‘great success’ despite arresting 40 people over theft, drugs, being drunk and disorderly, common assault or affray.

Only five people were charged in total and Brighton and Hove Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, said the ‘vast majority’ of revellers at Saturday’s (1 September) event enjoyed themselves and would take away ‘fond memories’.

‘Given the sheer size of the event, I would say that the day was a great success,’ he said.

He added: ‘Officers worked through the night and were a visible presence on the streets to help, advise and prevent crime.’

However, anti-government group Queers Against Cuts (QUAC) claimed they were ‘kettled’ and persistently harassed during the parade, leading to activists including Peter Tatchell accusing forces of mistreating marchers.

But in a statement released this afternoon, pride organizers denied police acting inappropriately.

‘Pride Brighton and Hove welcomed all those that registered to take part in the parade. Queers Against the Cuts were no exception,’ a pride spokesman said.

‘We can confirm that we accepted their entry into the parade. It transpired that the group gave an open invite for people join them on the parade and Sussex Police raised some concerns about this.

‘We were advised to move Queers Against the Cuts to the back of the parade; when stewards attempted to facilitate this the group declined to move.

‘The organiser of their group was then informed that if they didn’t agree to move, we would require them to leave the parade. At this time the organiser agreed to move.’

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