Merseyside Police have been criticised after holding a conference on transgender issues despite only having one transgender crime victim in the last year.

The Dysphoria Conference, which saw officers vowing to treat transsexual crime victims respectfully and fairly, has been accused of wasting police time.

Tory MP Michael Penning told the Daily Express“With just one attack on a transsexual all year, one must ask whether this is a viable use of Merseyside Police’s resources.”

Speaking at the conference, which was attended by 70 members of the transsexual community, Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne said the force would ask what the group’s unique needs are rather than assuming.

He said: “The old advice about treating people as you would want to be treated yourself is not right.

“It is about treating different people according to their own needs, and that is an important distinction.”

Transgender Essex Police acting sergeant, Emma Chapman, told the crowd, “The police have a duty to protect those in society who are vulnerable to such victimisation.

“All these incidents will be dealt with thoroughly, sensitively and confidentially.”