Rose Hill Merseyside Police HQ

Apology over historic LGBTQ+ enforcement

Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy has apologised, on behalf of the force, for the past treatment of the area’s LGBTQ+ communities, following a letter from activist Peter Tatchell.

Previous over-policing of Merseyside’s LGBTQ+ communities came because of the enforcement of past legislation, however a campaign was launched last year for police chief across the UK to apologise for the victimisation of such communities. As the 18th police force in the UK, Merseyside Police has been engaging with its LGBTQ+ network, members of staff, and community partners, culminating this week in a meeting that saw Chief Constable Kennedy apologise in person for the wrongdoings of the past.

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy

As part of this apology, there was a recognition that policing has moved on in the last two decades but that more work can be done to improve trust and confidence in policing.

As part of a statement, Chief Constable Kennedy said:

“I am committed to ongoing consultation and engagement to further understand the impact of that time, to ensure we continue to learn from our mistakes and build on proactive and positive work that has been undertaken by the force over many years.

“Improving the confidence of our LGBTQ+ communities is of paramount importance to me, and I am determined to further build on the trust we have gained.”

Over the course of the last 20 years Merseyside Police has worked internally and externally to try and repair trust and confidence with the LGBTQ+ community, with some of the ongoing engagement efforts including:

  • Work to support the recruitment of hundreds of police officers and staff that are currently under-represented within the police force
  • Outreach engagement with LGBTQ+ communities to improve understand of the barriers to recruitment, as well as encourage people to join
  • Collaboration with partners, including Liverpool City Council, in numerous LGBTQ+ initiatives including the implementation of Street Angels and ‘Rainbow Taxi Ranks’
  • Introducing Hate Crime Commissioners that are included in investigation teams, working closely with victims of LGBTQ+ hate crime to provide support at the earliest opportunity.

Chief Constable Kennedy concluded her statement by saying:

“We have come a long way and this could not have been achieved without the collaborative support we receive from our LGBTQ+ partners and key stakeholders within the community.

“When I was appointed as Chief Constable three years ago, I made Inclusion and  Community Engagement priorities for Merseyside Police. I am clear that in terms of the environment we offer our staff, and the service we provide to Merseyside communities, that we are truly inclusive and reflective of individual needs. More needs to be done to ensure all our communities are treated with the equity, respect and compassion they deserve.”


Image credit: iStock and Merseyside Police

Video credit: Merseyside Police


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