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Emergency services prepare for ‘biggest and the best’ UK Pride

Sussex Police & the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) are both preparing for Pride 2018, which is said to be the ‘biggest and the best in the UK’.

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South East Coast Ambulance Service crew in Brighton with the 'Pride Ambulance' in 2017.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is expecting a large turnout of its staff and volunteers to participate in the Brighton and Hove Pride parade this weekend (Saturday 4 August).

The Trust also urge people to help by ‘being sensible and looking out for each other’ over what is always one of the busiest weekends in the city. Ambulance crews, emergency operations centre staff and volunteers will be working hard, across the Trust’s region, to provide people with the help they require.

More news: Old Crawley depot site transforming to house 162 people

More than 150 staff and volunteers are expected to walk together in the parade alongside a specially ‘wrapped’ ambulance featuring a special Pride design. The Trust also expects to welcome representatives from all 10 of England’s ambulance services as well as colleagues from other NHS Trusts.

SECAmb thanked its Unison and GMB unions for sponsoring the wrapped ambulance, which was designed by local company, Chilli Graphics. It will be unveiled tomorrow (3 August).

The design for the Pride 2018 Ambulance wrap.

Chair of Pride in SECAmb Will Bellamy said:

“We always have an amazing turnout for Pride and it’s always a great sight to see so many staff joining and celebrating with their local community. The support we receive is always very humbling as the public show their appreciation and I’m sure it will be even more special this year as the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary. It is important that we celebrate diversity in our organisation and it is something we’re very proud of.”

A Pride flag proudly placed outside Brighton Ambulance Station.

Operating Unit Manager for Brighton, Tim Fellows added:

“Operationally, Pride is always a very busy weekend and I know all my colleagues, both staff and volunteers, including our community first responders, will be working really hard to ensure people receive the help they require.

“But people can also help us by being sensible and looking out for each other. It’s going to be a warm weekend and even without Pride a very busy two days in the city. We’re asking people to act responsibly so that they don’t find themselves or others requiring an ambulance for something which could have been avoided. If you go out as a group, come home as a group, and please look after your friends.”

SECAmb isn’t the only emergency service supporting Pride; Sussex Police is once again joining in on the celebrations.

Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor said:

“We have worked closely with the organisers of Pride and our partners in the city to ensure that everyone can enjoy the weekend safely.

“Months of preparation have taken place in the lead up to Pride and as in previous years, public safety is our main priority.

“Similarly to last year we will have a number of armed officers working across the city over the weekend. A large number of our own officers, local authority staff, security staff and event organisers have received specialist training to help them better identify and deal with potential risks.

“As always, we ask that the public demonstrates a certain level of personal responsibility including things like taking care of belongings, following personal safety advice and flagging any issues or suspicious behaviour to event staff or police.

“The weekend weather is due to be very hot and sunny so we would also like to remind people to stay hydrated and wear sun cream. You can find out where to refill your water bottles across the city by downloading this app. [find out about Crawley refill stations here]”

Sussex Police say public safety is the force’s main priority. They aim to ensure the event is both enjoyable and safe, but still maintain a hard position when it comes to illegal drugs.

Chief Supt Honnor said:

“We want everyone to be proud and support a drug free Pride. The possession, use or supply of illegal drugs, including cannabis, will be investigated and dealt with by officers.

“The devastating effect of drug use can have a much wider impact than just on the person taking them.

“Most illegal drugs are cut with other substances, substances which could have an adverse effect on your body and cause serious illnesses and in extreme circumstances, death.

“With Pride organisers, we want to promote an inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere for all. We look forward to seeing you there and wish you a fun Pride 2018.”

Head of Operations at Pride Becky Stevens said:

“This year’s Pride is set to be the biggest and the best in the UK.

“Extensive planning takes place year round between Brighton Pride and our partners at Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

“We would like to thank our colleagues at Sussex Police and all our statutory partners for their support to Pride in our city.

“We are pleased to welcome everyone to this inclusive and diverse event. Stay safe, look out for your friend and have an amazing Pride.”

Sussex Police will have a stand in Preston Park, where you can speak to LGBT officers and volunteers. The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne will also have a stand.

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14-year-old boy arrested in connection with Copthorne sexual assaults near Crawley

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Police investigating two reports of sexual assaults by touching in Copthorne have made an arrest.

In the first incident a suspect was reported to have forced his way into a woman’s home and sexually assaulted her by touching in Newtown on Friday afternoon (12 July).

A short time later another woman reported that a man had approached her asking for a hug and then touched her as she tried to get into her car in Knowle Drive, Copthorne.

She shouted at him and he ran off.

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of committing two sexual assaults.

He has been released on bail until 14 August.

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