With Bolton Pride in full swing, Greater Manchester Police will be visible throughout the weekend.

They also have a stall to provide Pride-goers with information and peace of mind, as well being a place to report any criminal activity.

Chief Inspector for neighbourhood and partnerships in the borough, Justine Topping, says that she and her officers place and “awful lot of importance” on Bolton Pride.

“I’ll be there. I will be giving a little bit of a speech about the police,” she said.

“My neighbourhood team will be present. They will be in the community, they will be in the town centre supporting it and also along the parade route as well to make sure everybody has a good time.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to get involved and demonstrate to the community that the police absolutely support Bolton Pride, and we’ve supported it because we’ve made sure we’re part of the planning and it’s safe for everybody.

READ: Bolton Pride 2022: Everything you need to know

“We are really looking forward to being a part of it this weekend. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to get involved and be part of that community and to make sure that everybody in the community and everybody visiting Pride feels safe and has got confidence in us.”

Not only is Pride a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and a promotion of equality, but at its core it is a demonstration against hate crime.

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Chief Insp Topping said: “Hate crime is a criminal offence and it can be perceived by anyone. Whether it be a victim or another person.

"It’s really any motivation around hostility or prejudice based on certain characteristics.

“We have 24 reporting centres in the Bolton district alone where we encourage anybody to absolutely report a crime.

“You don’t always have to come to the police, you can do it via any of our reporting centres or you can do it online.

“Every crime or incident is recorded, and every crime or incident is then investigated in conjunction with the victim. We’re very much victim led.

“The main thing for us is that when a victim is working with us, we will then do our best to bring the offender to justice.”

READ: Bolton Pride director backs police to sort hate crime

She added: “One of the new reporting centres is Bolton Wanderers. We’ve just trained all their staff and all their stewards to take reports. It’s not just about football because they have a huge LGBT group as well there. They work quite a lot in the community, and we do a lot with them in the community as well.

“We’ve got reporting centres to encompass all the community. Some might be temples, some might be mosques, churches, things like that. So, we’re quite inclusive.”

Chief Insp Topping says the police also do lots of preventative work around hate crime too, which includes going into schools and educating children about what is and is not acceptable, because “prevention starts at a very young age”.