A Pride mural in Liverpool has been hit with homophobic vandalism earlier this week.

The rainbow-coloured mural, which was located in Merseyside park, was commissioned by St Helens to celebrate Pride Month.

The unknown vandals wrote gay c*** and littered the walls with black spray paint.

Councillor Jeanie Bell of the St Helens Borough Council opened up about the act of vandalism in a statement.

“To say we we’re shocked and disgusted by this would be understating our emotions,” she said.

“This is more than just petty vandalism, this is a hate crime and those responsible should recognise that fact.”

Bell went on to reveal that the vandalism was removed and praised the community for rallying together.

“It’s been heartening to see people in Liverpool rally around the city’s LGBT+ community in the wake of a despicable series of homophobic attacks,” she said.

“But ultimately distressing that we must still battle with a minority who won’t let others live as they want to out of hatred and ignorance.”

St Helens Community Policing Chief Inspector Paul Holden echoed the same sentiments as Bell.

“This was an appalling incident in which local artwork was defaced, and we are fully investigating,” he said.

Holden also encouraged members of the community to come forward if they had any leads regarding suspects.

“We will always take reports of hate crime extremely seriously and we will do everything in our power to ensure those responsible for such incidents are dealt with robustly,” Holden said.

Over the past few months, Liverpool has been the center of anti-LGBTQ+ crimes.

According to local Liverpool media, at least seven people have been victims of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes.

The horrific rise in homophobic and transphobic attacks have been addressed by the Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell.

In a joint statement, Spurrell and Liverpool Regional mayor Steve Rotheram condemned the unfolding attacks.

“The recent spate of homophobic attacks in Liverpool city centre fly in the face of those values and have understandably sent shockwaves throughout the region,” the statement said.

Adding: “That these attacks should occur during Pride Month, a time meant to celebrate our LGBT+ community, is especially upsetting and only serves to underline why Pride events are still needed.

The statement concluded with a message of solidarity highlighting that “everybody is welcome” while “violence, bigotry, and hatred are not.”

Related: Protesters stand against horrific anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in Liverpool protest.