Merseyside PCC urges hate crime victims to speak out as she marks IDAHOBIT

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell has urged people to speak out against hate crime as she marks International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) today.

IDAHOBIT is held around the world on May 17 to commemorate the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

Emily will join officers and staff from Merseyside Police today as they raise the rainbow flag, sometimes known as the ‘freedom flag’, to mark the awareness day.  The flag has been a symbol of gay and lesbian pride since the 1970s and it has been flown over force headquarters in Canning Place for the past 12 years.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Absolutely no-one should be subjected to physical or verbal attacks simply for being who they are or the life they lead.

“Listening to and supporting victims was one of my key campaign pledges and I promised that I would work with all our communities to tackle hate crime, so I’m delighted that in one of my first events as Police and Crime Commissioner, I will be joining the Force to mark International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

“The theme for IDAHOBIT in 2021 is ‘Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing’ and this has never been more important given the challenges of the last year. IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to show our dedication to eradicating LGBTI hate crime and to visibly demonstrate our shared commitment to creating an equal, inclusive and diverse society, where everyone can flourish.

“It is also an opportunity to let anyone affected by LGBTI-related hate crime that help is available. Merseyside Police takes incidences of hate extremely seriously and will take robust action against anyone caught committing a hate crime. You can also report a hate incident anonymously to independent charity Stop Hate UK.

“We know that crimes motivated by hate can often have particularly long-lasting and devastating repercussions on the lives of those who are targeted. Those affected can be particularly vulnerable and may feel isolated or excluded. That’s why we run a specialist service dedicated to supporting LGBTI victims of hate crime through Citizens Advice Liverpool. This service can help anyone affected by hate crime to access specialist support such as counselling, as well as offering practical advice on practical issues and provide social support.”

The Citizens Advice Liverpool hate crime support service is available at [email protected]  or by calling 0151 522 1400 ext. 5006.

To report a hate crime, call Merseyside Police on 101 or alternatively call independent charity Stop Hate UK, on 0800 138 1625 or visit www.stophateuk.org

You can take part in the conversation on IDAHOBIT day using the hashtag #IDAHOBIT2021

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