After months of planning, the first Pride in Surrey event took place in Woking on Saturday (10 August).
Surrey Police worked alongside the event organisers and other partners to ensure the day was a huge success, with thousands of visitors turning up to enjoy the festivities.
As well as keeping people safe, some of our officers and staff took part in the parade through the town centre to demonstrate support for the LGBT+ community.
The event also included the main event at Woking Park, with a range of activities for all ages as well as live entertainment throughout the day.
Superintendent Graham Barnett said: “We had a brilliant time at the first Pride in Surrey event whilst keeping people safe and secure.
“Events such as these give us a larger platform to meet and engage with members of the public and that’s what policing is all about.
“As always, we worked closely with our partners, including the event organisers, who worked extremely hard to ensure the event ran smoothly.
“Thank you to the public who all behaved exceptionally well and made our job all the more enjoyable! We look forward to policing the next Surrey Pride event again next year.”
The day also marked the launch of a joint initiative between Surrey Police and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, with four fire stations chosen across the county where the public can go to receive information on hate crime.
Members of the public will also receive information about Stop Hate UK at these stations, which include Epsom, Guildford, Reigate and Woking.
Dan Quin, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be supporting Surrey Police in a joint campaign to encourage victims of hate crime to come forward and report their experiences.
“We hope to make a real difference by supporting people who sadly experience hostility or prejudice towards them and ultimately play our part in helping to put an end to hate crime.
“This is a further example of what we can do to prevent more emergencies from happening and make people in Surrey safer.”
Detective Superintendent Sailesh Limbachia added: “We are proud and delighted to be working with our colleagues at Surrey Fire and Rescue as part of this joint initiative to provide reporting centres for those affected by hate crime.
“Surrey Police do not tolerate hate or discrimination and take it very seriously, our aim is to ensure that people feel confident in reporting hate crime to us, by working together we can continue to tackle this crime and encourage anyone who may have experienced or witnessed hate crime to report it. However, we recognise that people may not wish to contact the police directly, would prefer to speak to a third party for advice and guidance before making a report, or want assistance and reassurance in reporting a hate crime and this is why we have launched this initiative with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.”
To report a hate crime, please call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report hate crime anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Stop Hate UK provides a free and independent 24/7 hate crime support and reporting service on 0800 138 1625. You can also report online by going to http://www.stophateuk.org/report-hate-crime/