The Chief Constable of Merseyside, Andy Cooke alongside Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke, Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy and representatives from Merseyside Police will once again be taking part in the Liverpool Pride parade on Saturday, 28 July 2018.
Officers will be in uniform for the march through the city centre, alongside civilian staff, friends, families, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) allies, as well as partner agencies and other organisations.
This is the eighth year that officers and staff from the force will be taking part in Pride and the theme this year is ‘All Together Now’, which the organisers hope will demonstrate that no matter what your sexuality, gender, race, belief or however you identify, we all stand together as one.
Liverpool Pride was first held in memory of Whiston teenager Michael Causer, who was murdered because he was gay in August 2008. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of his death and a further vigil will be held on Thursday, 2 August.
Saturday’s march will begin at St George’s Plateau at around 12pm, before travelling through the city centre and finishing at Tithebarn Street, where an afternoon of events will be held.
The force will have a stall in the marketplace area with information about hate crime, recruitment and the force's insight scheme where people can join the police for a day to see what happens.
Force Headquarters at Canning Place will remain lit up in the colours of the Trans flag as part of the ‘Come out of the Shadows’ event until Thursday, 2 August.
Chief Superintendent Rob Carden, Silver Commander for the event, said: "Once again Merseyside Police would like to welcome everyone, both residents and visitors, taking part in this year's Liverpool Pride, to the city.
"Officers will be visible throughout the event to help make sure everyone has a great time and enjoys it safely, but as with any event there are also some simple steps people can take to help protect themselves and their belongings:
- be aware of your surroundings and those around you as Pride will be a really busy event.
- take care of your property and keep valuables close - don't leave bags and mobile phones unattended at any time.
- keep wallets, purses and cash safe and out of sight.
- Pride is very much a family event so keep children close by as there will be large crowds.
- If you are going to enjoy the city's renowned pubs, bars and clubs, please do so safely. Drink responsibly, stick with your friends and plan your route home and you should have a great time.
"Pride promises to be another fantastic day in a summer of big events for Liverpool and I'm confident this year's event will be a success."
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy added: “I am delighted to be joining the Pride celebrations again this year, with my Deputy Commissioner, Cllr Emily Spurrell, and several members of my office. I consider it an honour to march with officers and staff from the Force, alongside hundreds of members of the LGBT community and their family and friends.
“Liverpool Pride is a happy event which celebrates the diversity of our region, and provides an opportunity to raise awareness of homophobia and transphobia. It is also an opportunity to remember a young man who was murdered because he was different. Pride sends a strong message that no-one should ever be targeted or abused because of their sexuality. I hope Pride continues to give people the confidence to know that, if they have been subjected to abuse or hate, they can speak out in the knowledge that they will be listened to, understood and supported.
“Pride grows in strength year on year, and I’m sure that this year’s event will be the best yet, with even more people turning out to demonstrate their support.’’
Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Andy Cooke said: “This will be my third year of taking part in Liverpool Pride and once again I am incredibly proud to be marching shoulder to shoulder with LGBT colleagues from Merseyside Police. Pride is a great opportunity to show our dedication to making our communities safe places where people can truly be themselves, without fear of discrimination or prejudice.
“As always we remember the reason Pride began, to commemorate Michael Causer, who was murdered because he was gay in August 2008. This year marks ten years since Michael’s death and by celebrating events such as Pride we make it clear that Merseyside Police take a strong stance against hate crime of any kind and that those who commit hate crimes have no place in our communities. It simply will not be tolerated.”
“I would like to encourage members of the public to come and speak to us at Pride, take pictures, ask questions and find out about the work the force is doing to support the LGBT community. Finally, I hope everyone has a fun, safe and successful weekend, celebrating Pride in this wonderful city.
Chair of Merseyside Police LGBT Network, Tracy O’Hara said: “I am extremely proud of Merseyside Police’s relationship with Liverpool Pride. There are LGBT police officers and staff marching alongside their families, partners and allies and this is testimony to the one team approach we have in this force.
“I am proud of the way the LGBT communities of Merseyside work with us, advise us and help us to improve, learn and be part of this community. It is a huge honour to Chair our network and lead our contingent.
“It is vital we are part of Pride especially this year when we take time to reflect on the murder of Michael Causer. Our thoughts are with the Causer family as they lead the march this year and many of us will be at the vigil next week too.”