WILTSHIRE Police is celebrating Pride month by flying the flag at Gablecross and its Devizes headquarters as well as sponsoring the deckchair zone at the Pride festival.

Swindon and Wiltshire Pride has held an annual event since 2008 to bring communities together in celebration of LGBTQ+ rights, diversity and inclusion - apart from last year when it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

It's coming back from midday to 10.20pm on Saturday August 7. Though the usual parade has been called off, there will be plenty of entertainment and activities in the Town Gardens. Strict Covid-19 safety measures will help keep festivalgoers safe.

Deputy chief constable Paul Mills said the Force was pleased to support Pride and hoped that the giant deckchair would be a big draw for individuals and families to visit and meet their police service, test out the chair for size and take photos and selfies.

He said: "We are delighted to be supporting this incredible community event and hope that our sponsorship of one the Pride zones will encourage more people to take part and show their support for the LGBTQ+ community."

Swindon PCSO's Lee Hare and Kate Jackson tested the huge chair when it was taken on a trip to police headquarters in Devizes by Swindon and Wiltshire Pride chair Jo Sharpe.

Lee said: “We want to do our bit to get the message across that acceptance and awareness are key to communities living side by side, without fear of violence, prejudice or hatred.

"All of us should respect each other's differences and be free to be who they want to be and live how they want without fear, hatred and prejudice no matter their gender or sexual orientation."

June was chosen as Pride month because it marks the month of the Stonewall riots which started at the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969. The events were the catalyst for the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States and around the world.

For more information on Swindon & Wiltshire PRIDE 2021, go to www.swindonwiltshirepride.co.uk/pride2021