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Merseyside Police has made a number of arrests following recent incidents of homophobic and transphobic hate crime in Liverpool city centre, and has re-affirmed its commitment to protecting LGBT+ people in Merseyside.
Superintendent Sarah Kenwright said: “Over the past few weeks there have been a number of appalling hate crimes targeting people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity in our city centre, and the injuries and abuse inflicted have shocked and rightly angered many, including everyone at Merseyside Police.
“We have made several arrests and are working tirelessly to find all those responsible and bring them to justice.
“We at Merseyside Police stand against hate crime in all its forms and will not tolerate people being targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Merseyside has a reputation for being a welcoming, friendly place and there is no place here for hate crime. Everyone should be able to go about their lives without the fear of being subjected to any kind of abuse based on their sexuality or gender identity, and we are absolutely committed to maintaining the right of all our communities to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
Supt Kenwright added: “June is Pride Month and these incidents show why it’s so important that we support Pride and say loud and clear that we stand against abuse and violence towards LGBT+ people and will not tolerate discrimination from or against the people of Merseyside.
“It is vital that we give our support to anyone who believes they have been subjected to abuse or left in fear because of who they are and I want to reassure the public that we will take action against those responsible.
“We work proactively with local authorities and other partner agencies to develop a greater understanding of, and build trust within, the communities being targeted by hate crime and the public can play a crucial role in spotting hate crime and telling us about it.
“I would urge any victim of hate crime in Merseyside to please come forward. We have officers and staff dedicated to protecting minority groups who will make sure you will be supported at every step as sensitively as possible. We will always take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and we will do everything in our power to ensure those responsible for such incidents are dealt with robustly.
“Our Hate Crime Co-ordinators can draw on a wealth of experience and expertise to provide effective and above all sensitive and appropriate support for victims. They also educate people on the impact of hate crime, going into schools and speaking to young people, and talking to perpetrators in order to prevent further offending.
“Everyone has a role to play in tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, in educating future generations and eliminating it from society. We take our role in this extremely seriously and call upon all sections of society to stand with LGBT+ people and state very clearly that these incidents will never be tolerated.”
If you have witnessed a hate crime, or have any information, please contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre. You can also call 101.
If, for any reason, you do not wish to the report to the police, the independent charity Stop Hate UK to run a 24/7 confidential helpline for all victims of hate crime on 0800 138 1625 or www.stophateuk.org. You can also download the Stop Hate UK reporting app on Google Play or the Apple App Store
Across Merseyside, we also have a number of third party reporting centres including fire stations, citizens advice bureaus and hospitals. A list can be viewed here.
Dedicated support for victims of hate crime is also available through the Victim Care Merseyside service delivered by Citizens Advice. They can be contacted at [email protected] or by calling 0151 522 1400 ext. 5006.