Brighton and Hove’s top policeman has thanked protesters for keeping their demonstration peaceful.

Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, Sussex Police’s commander for the city, praised the leaders of the Smash EDO campaign group for telling officers about their plans in advance.

The co-operation was also praised by Brighton and Hove City Council leader Jason Kitcat who said it had led to a “building of trust” between the anti-arms protesters and police.

Coun Kitcat said: “I think Sussex Police did exceptionally well this weekend, using some very careful and innovative tactics.

“I was happy with how the event went.

“There was a building of trust between groups and so people were able to visit Brighton and Hove and have a nice day.

“People have the right to express their views.

“But it is also right that protesters tell people where they will be marching. Otherwise Sussex Police has to get officers off leave.

“We believe in freedom of expression. It is not my right to object to it.

“We just don’t want conflict and want police to be able to facilitate marches.”

Ch Supt Bartlett said: “We are really grateful to everyone.

“Smash EDO turned out as they said they would and it is right for me to thank them.

“I certainly praise them for that.”

He said new protest liaison officers, put in place for the first time for the events on Monday and Saturday, were helpful.

Ch Supt Bartlett added: “Many of the crowd welcomed them.

“They engaged with the crowd and explained the police’s role.

“Monday’s event was not chaotic and was focused. This was helped by Smash EDO giving us notification.”

Smash EDO said that it would not always liaise directly with Sussex Police but admitted “things went as planned” following Monday’s event in the city centre.

A Smash EDO spokeswoman said: “We do not have a new policy of liaising with the police, although in this case we did let people know where the march was going.

“We might do this in the future via The Argus. It is just one of our tactics.

“We have different tactics for different demos as part of our Summer of Resistance.”