Police have kick started LGBT history month by wearing rainbow laces in their boots.
Merseyside Police have announced plans to replace their uniform’s black boot laces for multi-coloured ones to mark the start of LGBT History month.
The colourful laces use the same colour scheme as the rainbow flag – which has been flown by the force for the past nine years to mark International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) and will be raised again today (February 1).
Officers of all ranks will be allowed to wear the distinctive laces throughout February as a show of support for LGBT staff in a bid to end discrimination and to eradicate hate crime.
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “As a force we have already pledged to do everything we can to support members of the LGBT community and tackle homophobic and Transphobic hate crime in Merseyside.
“The flying of rainbow flag of IDAHO is already a well-established tradition in Merseyside and the introduction of rainbow laces as a show of support for LGBT History month is another great initiative.”
Detective Constable Tracy O’Hara – chair of Merseyside Police’s LGBT network – added: “It is important for myself and other LGBT colleagues in Merseyside Police to see visible support from senior managers and those who do not identify as LGBT, wearing the rainbow laces.
“This is a team game and hopefully this will get people talking. LGBT history month is an opportunity to be visible in our stance against homophobia and transphobia.
“We have an established LGBT network however there are still those who feel unable to be out,” she said.
“Rainbow laces enable all staff to show their commitment to eradicating hate and discrimination in all its facets and that is what this is all about.”
However, Merseyside Police is the not the first force to a splash of colour to their footwear.
The laces have also proven surprisingly popular with members of Leicestershire Police’s Tactical Dogs & Firearms Unit, who donned them back in 2014.