Northumbria Police will be showing support for Sunderland’s LGBT+ community this weekend as the annual Pride event takes centre stage.
The rainbow flag will fly high above the city on Sunday (September 29) with hundreds of people set to take to the streets to celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus community.
Officers and staff regularly participate in a number of events and parades across Northumbria throughout the year, including Pride, equality conferences and community group meetings. The Force also has a dedicated LGBT+ association.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt is among those who will be taking part in this year’s parade, while LGBT+ officers, staff and the wider police family will all be attending the event to show their support and engage with the local community.
“Northumbria Police is proud to stand alongside our colleagues, partners and the communities we serve to show our support and demonstrate our dedication to inclusivity and equality,” Ch Supt Pitt said.
“We work very closely with the LGBT+ community in Sunderland throughout the year and we are looking forward to a fantastic day of colour and celebration.
“Pride is an important day in our community calendar. The LGBT+ community can become victims of hate crimes and suffer appalling verbal and physical abuse just because of who they are.
“Here in Sunderland, and across Northumbria as a whole, we stand together with victims and their community to show there is a zero tolerance towards hate and we will take action against offenders.
“We will continue to work together with the public and partners to ensure LGBT+ people can feel safe in the North East and be proud to be themselves, not just on Pride day but every single day of the year.”
This year’s free event will be held at Sunniside Gardens from 12pm until 6pm, with the parade due to start from Park Lane Village at midday. It will then proceed up Olive Street, Mary Street, Vine Place, Fawcett Street, High Street West then into Sunniside Gardens.
There will be a host of entertainment throughout the afternoon with Channy and Jessie Dale among the acts due on stage. Local community groups including Shooting Stars Musical Theatre Group, based in South Hetton, will also perform.
You can find out more about how Northumbria Police are supporting diversity, equality and inclusion by visiting our website www.northumbria.police.uk
Anyone who is a victim of hate crime can contact police via 101, or 999 in an emergency, or by dropping into their local station or visiting our website for more info.