Standing together with Merseyside's trans community

Merseyside / November 18

Merseyside's Police Commissioner will join with the Force this weekend to commemorate the 2016 International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Since 1999, 20 November has been set aside to remember and honour those who have had their lives taken from them or have their taken their own lives, due to prejudice against transgender people.

The day also raises public awareness of prejudice and hate crimes against transgender people.

Chief Constable, Andy Cooke, QPM, will today (Friday, 18 November), attend a ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall where the Lord Mayor, Councillor Roz Gladden, will honour Transgender Day of Remembrance by taking receipt of the city’s Transgender flag and flying it at half-mast as a mark of respect.

On Sunday, 20 November the Transgender flag will be raised at Merseyside Police Headquarters.

Between 6pm and 8pm on Monday, 21 November a community event will also be held at Exchange Station on Tithebarn Street which will include speakers, a memorial vigil and wreath laying.

The event, which is open to the public, will be attended by Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who will be making a speech, as will Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke.

Jane said: "We know that many trans people still experience abuse and discrimination on a regular, even daily, basis.

"Today’s flag-raising event, ahead of Monday’s poignant vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance, will remind the whole community that hate crimes against members of the trans community will not be tolerated. By flying the trans flag over the Town Hall and Merseyside Police Headquarters we are saying loud and clear that Merseyside is inclusive, that we protect and support everyone and we celebrate diversity.

"I would urge all victims to report the hate crimes they experience, whether to the police or to independent charity Stop Hate UK’s 24/7 reporting helpline. This is vital in ensuring offenders are brought to justice and you can get the help and support you need.

"Monday’s vigil also provides us with a moment to honour and pay tribute to Penny Bassi, who did so much to promote diversity, change attitudes and tackle hate crime. She dedicated her life to helping prevent others from suffering the same abuse she had experienced. Her energetic contribution to equality and justice on Merseyside are sorely missed."

Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: "It is important for Merseyside Police as a Force that we are able to show our support for all our communities and Transgender Day of Remembrance, and the flying of the Transgender flag, is one way of us being able to show our commitment to doing that.

"I am proud to live in a city that thrives on being diverse but I am also aware that some people continue to be targeted because there is a perception that they are different and that is not acceptable.

"Everyone deserves to live their lives without fear of reproach and to be treated with respect and dignity.

"I want to reiterate our commitment that we will continue to tackle transgender hate crime and would urge people who feel they have been a victim, or have witnessed someone else being a victim of any kind of hate crime, to come forward safe in the knowledge that the information they give us will be acted upon.

"Anyone who needs assistance can call police on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Stop Hate UK charity on 0800 138 1625 to receive advice and support."