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Officers and staff from Merseyside Police will once again be marching at Pride in Liverpool on Saturday 30 July, alongside Chief Constable Serena Kennedy and Police & Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell.
It will be the first ‘in person’ Pride in Liverpool march since 2019.
The Chief Constable said: ‘‘I’m incredibly pleased to be marching in person this year as Chief Constable. Although I’ve marched before as Deputy Chief Constable, it feels very special to be able to lead the force in a show of solidarity with our Merseyside LGBT+ community.
"As an ally, I hope marching in the parade at Pride in Liverpool sends a clear message of support to the people of Merseyside who are LGBT+, as well as to my LGBT+ officers and staff.
"I know it’s been difficult for people throughout the pandemic not being able to draw on that face-to-face community resilience – having to do a virtual march last year – and missing out on important in-person opportunities to stand together. Our Community Engagement Unit and LGBT+ staff network have worked hard through Covid to keep those listening channels open, to really hear the community and act on their concerns, but I’m so pleased that this year we all get to physically be there together.
"So many staff and officers chose to participate, and I think that’s a real reflection of our force culture. They want to show the people of Merseyside that they care – they want to show their LGBT+ colleagues that they care. It makes me very proud."
Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Emily Spurrell said: “I’ve been privileged to support LCR Pride for many years now, so I’m delighted we can once again come together in person to march through the city. This year I’m pleased to join the Chief Constable to walk with Merseyside Police’s representation, who march in solidary with hundreds of members of the LGBT+ community and their family and friends.
"Pride in Liverpool is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Merseyside and support our LGBTQ+ communities, while sending a very clear message that abuse, bigotry and hatred will not be tolerated in our region.
"Through my Victim Care Merseyside service, I fund a dedicated support service for any victim of LGBTQ+ hate crime provided by Citizens Advice Liverpool and I also commission Stop Hate UK to provide an independent 24/7 hate crime reporting service. I’ve also been working with LCR Pride to create safe spaces across our city and particularly within the night-time economy as part of our ongoing work to ensure everyone can enjoy all our fantastic region has to offer safely and comfortable being themselves.
"I wish everyone a very happy Pride.”
Merseyside Police will be attending not only to take part in the march, but also in its usual capacity of providing a visible presence in the city centre for support and reassurance.
Assistant Chief Constable Chris Green said: “We want everyone who visits the City Centre this weekend for Liverpool Pride to have a fantastic time and really be able to enjoy themselves. We’d encourage everyone to take sensible safety precautions.
"Keep your valuables secure, be mindful of who is around you if you use an ATM, plan how you are getting home in advance and if you are going to drink, then please do so responsibly.
“We will have officers on duty in and around the city centre, so if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to come and speak to one of us.”
Merseyside Police’s LGBT+ network have coordinated the force’s participation in the march.
Detective Sergeant Tracy O’Hara QPM and Chair of Merseyside Police’s LGBT+ Network: “I have marched with and in Pride in Liverpool every year since its inception. It is one of the proudest days for me. I’m proud to be part of our LGBTQ+ community, proud to be me and proud of this region’s ability to rally and come together. Pride in Liverpool for me is a special day and we have had so many people wishing to be part of this event. It’s a day to be proud of who you are – that’s why I march - because I am proud to be a gay officer, and proud to stand in the face of hatred, discrimination and to be part of change.”
For more information about Pride in Liverpool, visit Home - LCR Pride