Stand proud

Tens of thousands of revellers joined in with the Birmingham Pride festival at the weekend.


Lawrence Barton at The Loft Lounge, in Bromsgrove Street.

Lawrence Barton, Birmingham Pride Festival Director


Over 50,000 people enjoyed the Birmingham Pride party which took place in the city centre on Saturday. Police from around the city worked with organisers to ensured that the event passed off largely trouble-free as uniformed and plain-clothes officers patrolled alongside and mingled with Saturday’s parade when a vibrant sea of colour and music passed through the centre of the city. And despite large crowds partying into the early hours on both nights there were no arrests made. Only a handful of thefts were reported over the weekend and a small number of people required treatment from the effects of a day in the sun.

West Midlands Police Inspector Stuart Bill, from Birmingham city centre, said: “Our aim was to ensure a peaceful, enjoyable event for everyone at the festival and we believe that this was achieved.

“Officers at the event also encouraged the reporting of hate crime through a series of posters and leaflets which explain how incidents can be reported though I’m not aware of any homophobic-related crime during the festival. With the volume of people attending over the weekend and reports of up to 75,000 people who watched the parade this was a very successful, trouble-free event.”

As well as policing Pride, West Midlands Police officers and staff from the force’s LGBT Network, for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans employees, actively participated in the event. Inspector Sarah Thomas-West, Chair of the LGBT Network, said: “The force is proud to support the LGBT community and works closely with a number of organisations to ensure the reporting of hate crime and our response is measured, effective and the best that it can be. We simply won’t tolerate people being targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and we take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously.”

She added, “It’s important that anyone experiencing hate crime doesn’t suffer in silence. Only by working together will we be able to tackle LGBT hate crime effectively.”

Lawrence Barton, Birmingham Pride Festival Director commented: “This year’s festival has been undoubtedly our most successful in its 17 year history, with the Equal Love Parade watched by over 75,000 spectators and the Pride festival enjoyed by over 50,000 visitors. We are indebted to both West Midlands Police and the security teams deployed who collectively ensured it was such a safe and happy Pride for everyone to enjoy.

“Birmingham Pride, which is a not-for-profit organisation, have announced that they have raised a record-breaking amount of money for local LGBT/HIV charity organisations from wristband sales this weekend. The final amount raised is expected to be announced next week.”