Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) Week
THE rainbow flag is being flown at
Merseyside Police HQ from Friday, 12 May 2017, ahead of International Day
Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) next week. On 17 May, 1990 the
World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its official
list of mental disorders and IDAHOT has been celebrated on that date across
the world ever since and for the ninth consecutive year, Merseyside Police
is flying the rainbow flag until Thursday.
Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke raised the flag at Merseyside Police
headquarters in Canning Place on Friday with the force's Mini Police,
alongside Navajo In Trust, local Trans+ groups, Mermaids and GYRO.
Merseyside Police HQ will also be illuminated with the rainbow colours.
The 2017 IDAHOT theme is 'families'
with particular focus upon the diverse meaning of the word,
recognising the variety of families in our community and the impact of
family on LGBT people.
After the flag raising, guest speakers from LGBT support groups provided
information to Police Officers and staff on how they help young people and
Chief Constable Andy Cooke and Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke said:-
"Flying the rainbow flag is a visible sign of our dedication to eradicating
homophobia, Biphobia and transphobia in Merseyside. This forms part of our
larger commitment to tackling hate crime in all its forms and we want the
message to be clear to victims and offenders that offenses involving
disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity will not
be tolerated by Merseyside Police. I am proud to be representing the force
at the annual Navajo Awards Ceremony, an event the force has been involved
in for a number of years. The Navajo Charter mark, which the force holds, is
awarded in recognition of dedication to improve equality and celebrate
diversity and is built into the foundations of the force's Community 1st
Merseyside Police is continually striving
to raise awareness of hate crime in all of its forms. The force continues to
encourage victims and witnesses of hate crime to report to its dedicated:-
'SIGMA' staff who will investigate each case with
professionalism and sensitivity and provide ongoing support as the case goes
Detective Constable Tracy O'Hara Chair of
Police's LGBT network, said:- "Showing our visible support for
International day against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia clearly
demonstrates our commitment to eradicate crimes perpetrated against Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. We take all forms of Hate Crime
seriously. Hate Crime continues to be under reported and by flying our flag
we are encouraging people to report all crimes and incidents to us. It is
clear to me that by working with our partner agencies, the PCC, community
engagement teams and the CPS we can bring offenders to justice, provide
support to victims and continue our work. This is the 9th year we have flown
the Rainbow flag and we do this to demonstrate that we are an inclusive
diverse workforce where we can all be ourselves. I am proud to work for an
organisation that has these values."