A suspect package which forced a major gay pride march to drop its new high profile route was a pinhole camera, police have revealed.

Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on the item which was discovered on Brighton seafront before the Brighton and Hove Pride parade was due to start on Saturday.

Sussex Police officers initially thought the suspect package had been placed there deliberately and made to look like a suspicious device to disrupt the parade.

But detectives now believe there was no malicious intent behind its placement, which forced Pride organisers to abandon plans for the parade to go down a new "high profile" route.

Police are linking the pinhole camera found with two similar items discovered in Brighton Marina car park in July and near St Peter's Church near The Level in August 2013.

Detective Inspector Julie Wakeford, of Sussex Police, said: "We have linked all three items as pinhole cameras.

"No offences have been committed on this occasion as there was no deliberate intent to disrupt or cause harm and we do not believe that the person responsible considered the implications of placing that item at that location.

"It is reassuring to know that there was no intention of targeting Pride or any particular community.

"However, it is important that permission is given and recorded if such items are to be placed on public or on another person's property. Failure to do this may mean that an individual does commit an offence of public nuisance or criminal damage.

"The item on Saturday did look like a suspicious device and we were concerned enough to call in the bomb disposal unit, who after making a further assessment, also agreed it was highly suspicious and carried out a controlled explosion."