Britney Spears’ Brighton and Hove Pride performance at Preston Park on Saturday 4 August, saw a staggering 57,000 people attend the park in the evening to see the American pop sensation in action.
However once it had finished at about 10:30pm, the concert goers headed for the station and subsequently the city experienced an exceptionally high volume of people at Brighton Railway Station.
Sussex Police said that the British Transport Police (BTP) who were assisted by Sussex Police officers, allowed people to enter the railway station and onto the train as safely as possible. In doing so and as a standard safety precaution, passengers were held on the concourse to prevent dangerous crowding on the platforms.
However it has been reported that huge crowds were left stranded for several hours with many having to sleep on the beach after the stations gates were padlocked shut.
In response to this Sussex Police state that the “Sussex Police command team for the operation did not request that the gates at the station be shut.”
Adding, “During the planning of the event we made it clear that there needed to be a robust plan at the station and good transport arrangements. This was the responsibility of other partners to arrange.”
In charge of policing the whole event, Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor, acknowledges that “It was a challenging couple of hours following the Preston Park event when people were making their way home.
However Honnor adds, “With the support of our partners, we did manage the queue outside the station so that when the last extra train departed at 2.15am there was no one left.
“Following on from what we learnt on Saturday night, both the train operator and BTP supported the operation from the event control room on Sunday.
“They also put on extra staffing resources and introduced a queuing system for passengers at the railway station ensuring people were able to make journey home.
Honnor concludes stating, “We would like to thank the public and passengers for their patience and understanding.”