POLICE and Oxford City Council staff raised the ‘rainbow flag’ at Oxford Town Hall today to show their dedication to gay rights.

The flag, an international symbol of gay, lesbian and transgender pride, was also flown at Oxford police station, Thames Valley Police headquarters in Kidlington and at other police stations throughout the region, to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “Showing respect for diversity is essential to delivering a high quality police service. We all have a duty to eliminate discrimination and promote good relations with our communities and colleagues.”

Sgt Felicity Parker added: “Thames Valley Police is committed to tackling discrimination and equality and making sure people feel we are approachable.”

This year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of homosexuality being removed from a list of ‘mental disorders’ by the World Health Organisation.