ST Helens Town Hall and police station flew the rainbow flag today to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).
The Rainbow flag has been hoisted to help raise awareness of the work being done locally on hate crime done to coincide with IDAHO, which took place today.
Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans individuals often use rainbow flags or rainbow images as a symbol of their identity or to show solidarity and support.
St Helens Community Safety Partnership encourage hate crime victims to come forward and report the incident, whether to the Police directly (999 or 101) or via the independent, specialist, 24/7 national hotline ‘Stop Hate UK’ (0800 138 1625, or text 07717989025).
Dedicated support is on offer, whether through the Police’s specialist Hate Crime Investigation Unit (the Sigma Team, based at College St) or other local organisations (Fire Service, Housing Associations, Social Care, etc) and community groups working to tackle homophobia and transphobia (Armistead, Merseyside In-Trust Network) Armistead: 0151-227-1931; In-Trust Network: 0151-928-2233.
Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “We know that homophobic hate crime often goes unreported and we want to encourage anyone who has been a victim to come forward and report it.
“Nobody should ever be targeted because of their sexuality, and today we in St Helens are making it clear we stand together to tackle such discrimination. Action can only be taken if the authorities know about it, so we need people to have the courage to come forward and not suffer in silence.
“If it is happening to you, or someone you know then I urge you to report it.”