Police have praised the “brilliant” behaviour of the “overwhelming majority” of Pride revellers as this year’s LGBT celebration passed off without major incident.
One of the Brighton’s biggest policing operations ensured the majority of the estimated 160,000 partygoers will remember this year’s colourful and inspiring festivities for all the right reasons.
Sussex Police made 28 arrests for offences including possession of drugs, theft, actual bodily harm and public disorder by 1am on Sunday, a reduction on the past two years.
A British Transport Officer was also injured in the process of disarming a man who pulled a knife on the officer.
Chief Superintendent Paul Brogden said on Twitter that the officer broke his wrist in the struggle.
The British Transport officer who broke his wrist tackling a “serious incident involving a knife” was said to be in “good spirits and recovering” yesterday according to colleagues while the suspect he arrested has been charged and will appear in court today.
Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp, who led the day's policing event, said: "The overwhelming majority of people who have come to Pride have been brilliant but officers have made a number of arrests today for a variety of offences, which can be expected at such a large event.”
Brighton Pride director Paul Kemp praised the “exuberant and colourful display” of the parade and said that initial feedback on changes to ease queuing into the park event had been positive.
He said: “Pride 2014 was one of the biggest Pride weekends the city has ever seen as people from around the world came to the city to celebrate and support the community.
“Early reports also appear to indicate that the trial ticketed Pride Village Party has been well received and pledge band sales have been strong.
“We will now work with our key partners and the statutory services to undertake a full de-brief across all elements of the Pride 2014 to ensure that we continue to build a safe, sustainable Pride with purpose.”
Pride organisers said this year’s event was one of the biggest ever and early reports vindicated new security measures around the Village Party in St James’s Street, which saw revellers charged for the first time.
Police CCTV footage showed parts of the party became very congested around pinch points at popular venues and police advised revellers without wrist bands not to head to the party.
Those inside the gated street party praised the new system for creating a safer environment.
But those unable to get in went to informal parties elsewhere in the city in Victoria Gardens and Queens Park which lacked proper facilities.
Brighton resident and village partygoer Kerry Harris said: “£5 for two days is not bad value.
“Last year I came here for about five seconds, saw the massive crowd and just thought sod it.
“This year is not as busy but in a good way.”
Former Brighton resident and fellow St James’s Street pledge band holder Luke Francombe, 28, said: “It feels a lot safer this year, last year it was inches deep in broken glass on the floor.”
Meghann Creffield, 29 from High Street in Brighton, said she hoped that it would be easier for residents to get wristbands next year.
As a mother of two young children she was pleased that restrictions on residential roads meant revellers were unlikely to disturb her children as they had in the past.
She added: “I walked through Queens Park earlier where people were having an alternative party and they were going into the bushes and I was thinking ‘please don’t do that as I want to take my children there tomorrow’.”