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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 August, 2003, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Gay police join colleagues at Pride
People dance at Brighton's Pride festival in 2002
The Gay Pride parade started at 1100 BST on Saturday
Sussex Police has teamed up with the Gay Police Association (GPA) for the first time at this year's Gay Pride festival.

Officers from Brighton and Hove will be manning a stand with members of GPA Sussex at the event in Preston Park on Saturday.

It is part of an initiative aimed at encouraging people from groups which are normally under represented in the force to apply for jobs.

Pc Mark Andrews from the Gay Police Association said: "We want to show the lesbian and gay community of Brighton, and those visiting from other areas, that there is support for lesbian and gay officers in the Police service.

"And that the GPA in Sussex is a recognised and fully constituted association within Sussex Police and receives the full backing and recognition it deserves."

In the past Sussex Police has been criticised for its attitude towards the gay community and was once branded "institutionally homophobic" in a report.

The Gay Pride parade started at 1100 BST from Madeira Drive and then headed along London Road to Preston Park.

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