Met chief vows to keep Pride in London safe after Orlando attacks
London’s police chief has vowed to keep next week’s Pride in London safe – as extra officers are drafted in for security.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the head of London’s Metropolitan Police, spoke to press including PinkNews ahead of a meeting with LGBT business leaders, following the attack in Orlando.
The police chief said the force did not expect an attack but have put extra police on duty to make pride-goers feel safe.
He said: “Generally, we know there is no more threat today than when the attacks on Orlando happened.”
However, the Commissioner added that it was “impossible” for the police to prevent every attack.
The police chief also expressed grief over the murder of MP Jo Cox, saying: “I’m afraid it’s impossible to prevent every attack, and what we are all doing is reviewing what we’ve learnt from the terrible events of yesterday.”
“It’s a tragic, horrible event that happened yesterday when Jo Cox was murdered and it’s terrible for her family. It’s made everybody think about their safety in public.”
Speaking before a business meeting about safety in LGBT venues, the Commissioner expressed his love and solidarity for the people of Orlando.
He said: “So many people are hurt by this attack and it’s a great shock to the LGBT community.”
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He urged people to act if they see anything suspicious during the festivities and alert police or security.
The commissioner does not think the LGBT community or MPs are under threat, despite the crimes that have happened in the past week.
Commander of Engagement, Mak Chishty, will be attending the London Pride parade. He ensured extra safety for the celebrations.
He said: “We’ve got extra officers throughout the day in addition to what we already planned and I’m very proud to say that also that we’ve got 150 officers in full uniform taking part in the parade itself.
“So there will be full uniform officers as part of the parade which is really good sign that we’re one community.”
A letter from the Met to Pride in London marchers is below.
On Saturday 25 June, LGBT+ Pride in London will hold its annual parade in central London.
This is a unique event celebrating London’s diverse communities, which the Metropolitan Police Service has proudly supported for many years.
A record number of groups are registered to participate in the parade, including more than a hundred Met officers and colleagues from police forces around the UK.
Whilst the tragic events in Orlando last weekend have caused huge shock and concern across the world, there is no intelligence to suggest an increased threat to the Pride parade in London.
Police have been working closely with Pride in London for some months in planning for this event.
As a matter of course, the security plan has been reviewed and the situation is continuously monitored and remains under review.
The Met Police and Pride in London recognise that people in the LGBT+ and wider community may have increased concerns at this time. Therefore, to help provide additional reassurance and to show support for the Pride event, the Met Police will have an increased visible policing presence at the parade and in Soho.
There will be a proportionate policing plan in place on the day and Pride in London is also providing additional stewarding.
We encourage those who wish to show their support for – and stand in unity with – the LGBT+ community to come and watch the parade and attend festival events, all details can be found on www.prideinlondon.org
We hope that everyone attending Pride in London 2016 has a safe and enjoyable day.