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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-12-05

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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International Day 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 families.

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 model."

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 to Court. 

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."


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