Taking Pride in the diversity of Merseyside

PCC Emily Spurrell with the Chief Constable and other Chief Officers at the front of the Pride march last year

This weekend, Saturday 29 July, we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the city centre, who will be here to enjoy and take part in Liverpool’s annual Pride celebrations.

Based on local feedback there will be a new approach to Pride in Liverpool this year, there will be a city centre ‘take over’ with a whole host of activities spread out across different locations.

The intention is to showcase a ‘city full of pride’ designed so people can create an itinerary that suits them best, from pop-up community performances, family-friendly spaces and a diverse series of ‘fringe events’.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “LCR Pride is always one of the highlights in my calendar.  It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the very best of our region – our inclusivity, our diversity, and the fact that Merseyside welcomes people from all walks of life.

“Events around the world show there is still a long way to go in the fight for true equality and that is why it is so important we unite in solidarity to make a stand against any form of abuse and bigotry.

“Pride began as a protest and it continues to be a protest today – providing us all with an opportunity to speak out against prejudice, discrimination, and social injustice.

“I’m determined to offer support to anyone affected by hate. Through my Victim Care Merseyside service, I fund Citizens Advice Liverpool to provide a dedicated support service for any victim of LGBTQ+ hate crime. 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 fabulous Pride – I can’t wait to see you there.”

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy, said: ‘‘I thoroughly enjoy marching at Pride and I am proud to be marching in person again at this year’s event.

“It is important to me that we show the communities of Merseyside and indeed our own staff who identify as LGBTQ+, or have family members who are LGBTQ+, that the force fosters a culture where everyone feels included and that exclusion will be addressed.

“Pride gives us the ability to show that we actively value the difference of our LGBT+ community, and it is important our communities and staff know we focus on inclusion every day.

“Why is inclusion important? Because for me, the more diverse we become as a force, the greater operational understanding we develop. As a result, we will provide our communities with a better, more informed police service that provides a better quality of service to everyone.

“Along with many of our officers and staff, I will be proud to take part in the celebrations on Saturday and look forward to what promises to be a fantastic event for our city.”

Detective Sergeant Tracy O’Hara QPM and Chair of Merseyside Police’s LGBT+ Network said: “I have marched with and in Pride in Liverpool every year since its inception. It is one of the proudest days for me and I am proud to be part of our LGBTQ+ community.

"We are privileged to be involved in Pride. We know our history with the LGBTQ+ community has not always been positive so to be here is a way of saying there are LGBTQ+ police people and allies within the Police committed to making the future better for all.”

Merseyside Police officers will be visible throughout the event to help make sure everyone has a wonderful time and enjoys it safely but as with any busy event in the city, there are some simple steps people can take to help protect themselves and their belongings:

  • be aware of your surroundings and those around you
  • take care of your property and keep valuables close - don't leave bags and mobile phones unattended
  • 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 in advance and you should have a great time

Members of the PCC's team and her Victim Care Merseyside hub staff will also have a stall at the event.

Rail strikes are planned during this period so keep up to date with travel news on the Merseytravel website - www.merseytravel.gov.uk, the Merseyrail website - www.merseyrail.org and via Twitter at @merseytravel or @merseyrail.

For more information about Pride in Liverpool, visit LCR Pride