Following recent incidents of homophobic and transphobic hate crime Merseyside Police has stepped up patrols in Liverpool city centre.
There will be increased activity across the city centre following the incidents, and officers in uniform and plain clothes will patrol key areas.
High visibility officers will patrol the Pride Quarter and beyond in the coming days and weeks, to reassure everyone who wishes to visit the city that they can do so safely
Superintendent Sarah Kenwright said:
“The incidents we have seen in the city in recent weeks have understandably caused anger and some fear among those communities targeted with homophobic and transphobic abuse.
“It is heartening to see so many speak in solidarity with the victims, and to say with a united voice that such behaviour simply has no place in Merseyside.
“We share that determination to ensure everyone – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity – can go out and enjoy themselves in this city.
“The recent increase in incidents involving LGBT+ victims has, sadly, mirrored an increase in crime experienced as lockdown restrictions were eased.
“But wherever people from Merseyside are being abused or attacked simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we will not stand by.
“We are proactively policing the streets and will be visiting licensed premises across the Pride Quarter and the city centre to engage with staff and members of the public to reassure, listen to concerns and take action where we witness any criminality.
“We have already made arrests in relation to recent incidents and will not hesitate to do everything in our power to bring anyone suspected of hate crimes against LGBT+ people to justice.
“Merseyside has a well-deserved reputation for being a diverse and welcoming area, and there is simply no place here for hate.
“We will continue to work with local authorities and other partner agencies including charities and foundations to develop a more of an understanding of those communities targeted and ultimately ensure they are protected from harm.”
LCR Pride Foundation said:
“Hate crime in all forms is horrific and has no place on our streets or online.
“We’re committed to working with Merseyside Police to raise awareness, challenge hate crime and importantly, maintain a constructive dialogue with the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ Community.”
The Michael Causer Foundation added:
“It is almost 13 years since we lost Michael Causer – a life cut short by abhorrent homophobia.
“While our city region has always been welcoming and supportive of our truly diverse culture, these most recent events show we cannot be complacent in tackling homophobic attacks on our community.
“We welcome the support and vigilance of our friends in Merseyside Police in addressing this most recent spate of hate crime on our city streets.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said:
“I have spent my whole adult life standing up to hate. Having worked in The Crown Prosecution Service for ten years fighting hate crime, I am fully aware of how these horrific crimes impact on people and communities.
“I’m appalled by the recent spate of homophobic attacks and I want the victims to know that they have our wholehearted support. Not just that of the city council, but also local businesses, community organisations, taxi drivers and many more – we are all here for you.”
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, there is also a number of third party reporting centres including fire stations, citizens advice bureaus and hospitals.
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@example.com or by calling 0151 522 1400 ext. 5006.