23 Aug 2021, 07:03
Police have been criticized for painting rainbows on the side of their patrol cars in an attempt to tackle hate crimes online and “build trust” in the LGBT + community.
The forces have brought in the “hate crime cars” hoping they will encourage people to report incidents such as offensive comments on social media.
However, critics said forces should instead focus on policing “real” issues such as knife crime and rape, with the latest figures showing low prosecution rates.
Deputy Police Chief Julie Cooke said: “Cars are there in communities on a normal police patrol just to show the community that we want you to show up…
“He is there to try to give confidence to our LGBT + community, but also to other under-represented groups.”
DCC Cooke, who works at the Cheshire Police Department, added that “the cars are there in communities on a normal police patrol just to show the community that we want you to show up… It’s here to try. to give confidence to our LGBT + community, but also to other under-represented groups ”.
She said the “cost is pretty minimal” but the impact is “huge”.
Ms Cooke, head of the National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC) on LGBT issues, posted a video on her Instagram account explaining why the police have rainbow vehicles.
A spokesperson for the NPCC said they did not have figures on how many cars had been painted because the forces operated independently and the number of cars they wanted to convert depended on each force.
Former police officer and founder of campaign group Fair Cop, Harry Miller, told the Telegraph: “We don’t see the Met with special stabbing cars, even though the number of stabbings in London is appalling.
“The problem is, the second you see a rainbow car, you know it’s a police force that has made a decision on some very controversial issues.
“You no longer see a police car or a policeman who is there to support everyone, of all political stripes, without fear or favor.
“They literally tied their colors to the mast and painted their cars with their political leanings.”