Merseyside PCC urges hate crime victims to speak out as she marks IDAHOBIT 2023


Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell has urged people to speak out against hate crime as she marks International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) today.

IDAHOBIT is held around the world on May 17 to commemorate the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

Today, the rainbow flag was raised at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Mather Avenue to mark the awareness day. Also known as the ‘freedom flag’ it has been a symbol of gay and lesbian pride since the 1970s and it has been flown over force headquarters for the past 14 years.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Absolutely no-one should be subjected to physical or verbal attacks simply for being who they are or the life they lead.

“Listening to and supporting victims is one of key priorities and over the past two years since taking office, I have been committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms.

“This has included working with partners to build a more equal and safer society through schemes like ‘You’re Safe Here’, that helps to educate businesses and reassure the public they are in a safe place, as well as funding vital services through my Victim Care Merseyside hub like Stop Hate UK and Citizens Advice Liverpool, there to support victims of hate crime.  

“The theme for IDAHOBIT in 2023 is ‘Together always: united in diversity’. Today is an opportunity to show our dedication to eradicating LGBTI hate crime and to visibly demonstrate our shared commitment to creating an equal, inclusive and diverse society, where everyone can flourish.

“It is also an opportunity to let anyone affected by LGBTI-related hate crime that help is available. Merseyside Police takes incidences of hate extremely seriously and will take robust action against anyone caught committing a hate crime. You can also report a hate incident anonymously to independent charity Stop Hate UK.

“We know that crimes motivated by hate can often have particularly long-lasting and devastating repercussions on the lives of those who are targeted. Those affected can be particularly vulnerable and may feel isolated or excluded. That’s why we run a specialist service dedicated to supporting LGBTI victims of hate crime through Citizens Advice Liverpool. This service can help anyone affected by hate crime to access specialist support such as counselling, as well as offering practical advice on practical issues and provide social support.”

The Citizens Advice Liverpool hate crime support service is available at [email protected] or by calling 0151 522 1400 ext 5006.

To report a hate crime, call Merseyside Police on 101 or alternatively call independent charity Stop Hate UK, on 0800 138 1625 or visit

You can take part in the conversation on IDAHOBIT day using the hashtag #IDAHOBIT2023