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PSNI praises ‘record numbers’ at Belfast Pride while highlighting importance of reporting hate crime

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PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The PSNI has recognised the significance of the Belfast Pride parade as it said this year’s event was the “largest Pride” ever.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Belfast as the city's Pride parade returned for the first time in three years.

Superintendent Gerard Pollock said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for their help in making today’s Belfast Pride Parade run smoothly.

“This is the first parade since 2019 and our initial assessment is that it was larger than 2019 which would make this year’s event, the largest Pride parade to date.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland has been involved in the Pride Festival for the past number of years."

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PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

PSNI officers at the Belfast Pride parade in Belfast city centre. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

He added: "Pride is an important series of events for those who identify as being LGBT+ and we see this not just as an opportunity to highlight that hate crime, in whatever form, is wrong and the importance of reporting it but also to engage with and show our support for members of the LGBT+ community.

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“Hate crime must not be tolerated and victims should feel confident that when they contact police that their concerns will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately.”

The parade was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three years ago, 135 groups registered to take part in the parade.

This year organisers had to close the application window early after 200 group registrations were received.

There was a carnival atmosphere in the city centre as the rain stayed away until the end of the parade.

Officers from the PSNI and Garda took part in the parade, walking together with representatives from GB forces including South Wales, West Mercia, Derbyshire and the British Transport Police.

Ulster Rugby also took part this year, with fly half Ian Madigan among those parading through the city. Players from the Belfast Azlans, a predominantly gay rugby club, also joined the parade.

The GAA was also well represented, with Ulster GAA taking part along with several clubs, including East Belfast GAA.

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Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Translink supports this year’s Belfast Pride Festival

Picture by Brian Morrison

Translink supports this year’s Belfast Pride Festival Picture by Brian Morrison

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets

Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

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Belfast Pride returns in full to the city's streets Photo by Declan Roughan / Press Eye

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