Now police admit they did shut Brighton station gates on Pride crowds

Posted On 08 Aug 2018 at 5:40 pm

After their initial denials, Sussex Police and the British Transport Police this afternoon admitted that they shut the Brighton station gates on the crowds trying to travel home from Pride.

As a result, many people blamed Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). But the company, which runs Southern services, said that it had extra trains on standby and some had left with spare seats on board as a result of the station closure.

In a joint statement, Assistant Chief Constable Charlie Doyle, from the British Transport Police, and Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry, from Sussex Police, said: “Saturday saw thousands of people descend on Brighton as part of the Pride celebrations in the city.

“Following the celebrations and the event at Preston Park, an exceptionally high volume of people arrived at Brighton railway station to make their return journeys. Due to a number of factors, the number of people who came to the station at once were unprecedented.

The Medical

“It was evident that the queuing system at the station was unable to cope with the number of people, resulting in potentially dangerous overcrowding on the concourse and platforms. This was compounded by the availability of trains at the relevant time.

“Just after 11pm, a British Transport Police officer asked a Sussex Police officer to go to the front of the station to make an assessment on the number of people arriving. A decision was quickly made by the Sussex Police officer to close the gates, and with the support of station staff, the station was temporarily closed.

“This decision was made on safety grounds to allow the safe departure of passengers on trains. Staggered entry was then managed by police until the station re-opened fully just after midnight.

“Safety is our main priority and this decision was necessary in order to prevent further harm coming to passengers and staff within the station.

“We understand this decision resulted in people being delayed in getting home, but it was essential to prevent a dangerous situation from escalating.

“We will continue to scrutinise our decisions that night and will work with the train operating company and station management team to ensure that the crowd management plans at the station, in particular the queuing arrangements, is reviewed and lessons learnt.

“Once again, we would like to thank the public for their understanding and patience following the Brighton Pride event.”

  1. Terry Wing Reply

    Typical liars, I had hoped that they had improved and had become an honest Police Force. They just haven’t changed.

    Don’t trust a Sussex Copper unless you personally know them.

  2. Ashley Hammond Reply

    I hope the public take back what they said about GTR this was never the Railway companies error.

    Sussex Police and British Transport Police should never of allowed the organisers of the event to have so many people at the event.

    Also the Police showed no crowd control nor put a safety exit plan in place.

    By caging people into the street made it more unsafe. If something had of happened no one would of stood a chance of surviving.

    Because of this buses and other public transport could not serve the area which eliminated another way of evacuating the public.

    The Police shouldn’t blame others and take responsibility for there poor actions.

  3. tria Reply

    Given Govia’s reputation for terrible communication with the travelling public, it comes to something when the police turn out to be worse.
    Hard call around public safety, I’m sure, but at least they could be honest about what they were doing and why! Mind you, it’s not like they didn’t have plenty of time to plan for all this, and they must have known the running times of the Britney and the village party times. Plus of course a lot of people will have come to Brighton on a sunny day who were nothing to do with Pride at all. Doesn’t really inspire a great deal of confidence in Sussex Police in my book!

  4. Petra Reply

    A lot of this comes down to communication and neither the police nor the railways are very good at it. Too often they behave with a condescending arrogance and treat the public with contempt.

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