UK Black Pride takes advice from the Met Police to ensure a safe festival

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release
London, 2 July 2017

UK Black Pride takes advice from the Met Police to ensure a safe festival

  • Police set out strategy to keep UK Black Pride safe following spate of terror attacks
  • UK Black Pride will be held on Sunday 9 July at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London

Award-winning UK Black Pride – Europe’s largest not-for-profit event for African, Arab, Asian, and Caribbean-heritage lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people – takes seriously its duty to put in place any measures that can enhance the safety and security of our community who will be attending the annual UK Black Pride festival on 9 July 2017.

A special meeting was called in the aftermath of terror attacks in London and Manchester which included the stabbing of people socialising in Borough Market; a van being used to attack worshippers outside a Finsbury Park mosque; acid attacks on Muslims in East London; a suicide bomb attack on children at a music concert in Manchester, and a car being used to attack pedestrians walking on Westminster Bridge.

In an update to the LGBT community leaders about security plans for Pride events in the capital, the Metropolitan Police reassured organisers of Pride events that even though there is no specific intelligence of a threat to Pride events, a full security review of Pride policing arrangements had been undertaken, and extra measures would be employed to enhance the safety of Pride attendees. For UK Black Pride, this means new measures, including secure fencing all the way round Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Entry points to the park being limited to four areas with bag checks at each entry point to remove any item that could endanger festival goers. This will include any glass bottles that people may be bringing in. Concrete blocks will also be put in place to stop any vehicle entering the festival venue, and there will be more visible uniform police presence at locations in and around the festival.

David Musker, Metropolitan Police Gold Commander, who outlined the new security plans, said: “Pride is a celebration. It’s not a policing operation. So, we need to maintain that balance between having an effective and robust operation around policing, making sure that Pride is what it’s supposed to be – a celebration of diversity and of LGBT communities. That’s why we have a close working relationship with the Pride organiser’s so that we’re supportive rather than taking over the event. The last three or four months have been very difficult and challenging. We will police this event within the context of the last three of four months.”

Moud Goba, UK Black Pride’s Director of Community Engagement, said: ‘“We fully expect to have another safe, secure, and happy UK Black Pride event this year. However, the recent terror attacks, which caused so much loss and suffering to innocent people, mean that we must upgrade our plans to ensure our unblemished safety record remains intact. This has involved cooperating with the police to ensure we meet our primary responsibility which is to provide a safe space for our community. The new security measures will reassure our guests that our UK Black Pride is taking place in a safe and secure venue. It will also allow our guests to focus on celebrating all the good reasons why we will be gathering at UK Black Pride.”

To attend the UK Black Pride festival, which is organised in alliance with Pride in London, on Sunday 9 July in London’s Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, just come along between 12 noon and 9pm. The free event will feature a main stage from where UK Black Pride will blend live music, politics, and poetry in an inclusive and entertaining, family-friendly festival of community pride. With comedians; sports activities; education and welfare stalls, as well as world food and drink (or bring your own picnic) we guarantee something for all tastes. Join us!

UK Black Pride maintain a strong identity as a grassroots-led movement. We believe the most effective way to secure LGBT equality and inclusion is by opposing all forms of bigotry and putting people before profit. The Past, Present, Future…Love Happens Here theme shows our determination to stand for LGBT love and equality against all purveyors of hate. Join us!

 

Notes for editors:

There are many ways to get involved in making UK Black Pride 2017 a success:

  1. For UK Black Pride media and sponsorship enquiries, email: pav@ukblackpride.org.uk
  2. For information about food or market stall bookings, email: moud@ukblackpride.org.uk
  3. For information about volunteering at UK Black Pride, visit: http://ukblackpride.org.uk
  4. For information about UK Black Pride visit:
  5. For details about Pride in the Park visit: Pride in London

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