Police officers and staff from all over the UK will be in Manchester this weekend for Pride.

Representatives of 22 UK forces will be joined on the parade by Greater Manchester Police (GMP)  Chief Constable Peter Fahy and Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney and Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable Helen King.

This Saturday more than 270 officers and staff from forces across the country will lead the parade as Manchester Pride celebrates its 19th year.

PC Darren Haslam, coordinator of GMP’s Lesbian and Gay Staff Affiliation (LAGSA), said:

“Its another fantastic response that we’ve had this year, there has been an increase in the numbers taking part and also the number of police forces represented.

“For me it shows that confidence is slowly increasing amongst our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) staff and walk through the streets of Manchester proudly as a police officer or member of police staff.“

“By taking part in Pride will hopefully send out a strong and clear message to give confidence to the LGBT communities, that you can be gay or trans and work for the police.”

For the second year running, GMP is one of the main sponsors of Manchester Pride.

Officers will be providing information about how to report hate crime throughout Pride.

“Hate crime is not something that LGB&T individuals should just have to put up with,” said PC Haslam.

“GMP is committed to erasing hate crime from our communities.

“Anyone who has been targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity should report it to police.

“We will take you seriously.”

Manchester Pride Big Weekend is a four-day extravaganza including headline performances from 1980s hit makers Human League and Bananarama, new acts Little Boots and Frankmusik and tabloid favourite Peter Andre.