The police chief in charge of keeping order at Green Pride in Brighton has praised the good natured crowd who turned out.
Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, of the Brighton Neighbourhood Response Team, said that most people responded positively to the approach taken at the event in Preston Park.
One woman was arrested but not charged, 13 people were given fixed-penalty fines, seven other people were searched and a 15-year-old boy was “escorted home by officers and referred to a youth offending scheme”.
The force said: “Sussex Police attended the Green Pride gathering in Brighton on Saturday (1 July), which concluded with minimal disruption.
“The force had a noticeable presence at the event, held at Preston Park, due to the large number of people anticipated to attend.
“Working in conjunction with Brighton and Hove City Council, officers engaged with participants early on to ensure the boundaries were clear and that people were aware of the legislation around cannabis.”
Chief Inspector Woolford said: “Through effective use of social media, we were able to actively engage with a number of groups, clubs and individuals associated with Green Pride, many of whom had travelled from across the UK.
“This enabled us to set the tone early and give people the opportunity to make the right decision based on the information provided.
“We made it clear that we would facilitate lawful protest. However, we were also there to safeguard the public and to enforce the law and most people responded positively to our engagement.
“There was a calm community feel throughout the day and the vast majority of those in attendance were well mannered and good spirited. The peaceful crowd was reflected by the low level of law enforcement.”
The woman who was arrested was held on suspicion of having illegal drugs with intent to supply but Sussex Police said that she was later dearrested due to a lack of evidence. No other arrests were made.
Chief Inspector Woolford added: “We will continue to police Green Pride in a similar way should the event take place again in the future.
“Anyone with any concerns in relation to drug use should report it online.”
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