Pride was biggest yet

9 August 2010, 07:37 | Updated: 9 August 2010, 12:46

Police said Pride 2010 looked to have been the biggest yet, with more than 160,000 people believed to have attended.

There were around 20 arrests for suspected drugs and public order offences, while around 100 people were treated by St John Ambulance, the majority for alcohol-related issues.

The event's police commander, Superintendent Steve Whitton, said: ``Once again people have attended in their thousands to line the streets and take part in the Pride celebrations.

``Given the huge numbers we have seen attending today, it has been a peaceful and successful event with very few isolated incidents.

``I'd like to thank all the organisers, the emergency services and all the participants for making the event such a great success.''

The theme for this year's event was Pride and (No) Prejudice with many revellers dressed up in extravagant Regency costumes.

But others chose simply to take the opportunity to dress as outlandishly - or skimpily - as they possibly could.

Among the colourful floats were members of political parties and religious organisations while workers in police, fire and ambulance services from across the UK also marched and sounded their sirens.

The parade, the highlight of the week-long festival's finale weekend, set off from Madeira Drive and passed along the seafront towards Preston Park where the celebrations continue all day.

The free event, which first started in 1991, celebrates the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, and has taken months of planning by a large team of staff and volunteers.

Its future as a free event was put in doubt last year when organisers said it faced a potential #50,000 deficit, but they then received a £20,000 loan.

Dozens of Sussex Police officers from across the county have been deployed for today's event while there are also around 90 stewards to keep both participants and spectators safe.

Deputy chief constable Giles York said: ``Sussex Police, which is one of the most gay friendly employers in the UK according to Stonewall's Top 100 Employer List 2010, is proud to show its commitment to Pride.

``These events and how we police them show our continued support and commitment to serving Sussex; engaging and building trust with the LGBT community, not only with our own staff from this community but also with the diverse people throughout Sussex.''

Police are appealing for witnesses after several campers were robbed and assaulted at the Waterhall Playing fields, Brighton around 11pm on Friday, 6 August.

Update on Monday

The fields were being used as a temporary campsite for PRIDE attendees. One of the victims was assaulted with a police style baton.

DC Cameron, Brighton Anti Victimisation Unit said: "This was a very distressing incident for the campers who were enjoying the carnival festivities.  We believe the assaults were carried out by more than one person."

One of the suspects is described as white, 19, about 5ft 8" with dark gelled curly/wavy hair. He was wearing a black shiny tracksuit type jacket and dark coloured trousers.