Law enforcement in the UK have replaced patrol vehicles with rainbow colored "hate crime cars" in hopes to encourage citizens to report incidents they believe are "hateful." However, the new fleet has been heavily criticized across the pond as being an improper use of taxpayers money, according to Telegraph.
Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke with the Cheshire Police Department said that the new rainbow colored "hate crime cars" will be regularly driven by patrol officers and are now "part of our vehicle fleet," Telegraph reports.
The "cars are there in the communities on normal policing patrol just to show the community that we want you to come forward... It is there to try and give confidence to our LGBT+ community, but also to other under-represented groups," Ms. Cooke said, who works at the Cheshire Police Department.
The "cost is quite minimal," but the impact is "huge," Cooke added.
According to Cooke, hate crime incidents reported to police have drastically increased. Although critics remain skeptical of the rise in hate crime allegations since a large number of incidents stem from comments made on social media.
When allegations of a hate crime are reported to the police, officers are forced to record the allegations as a "hate incident" even if a crime was not determined to be committed. The allegations can show up on criminal record background checks.
Critics of the "hate crime cars" believe law enforcement should direct their funds to combat violent crimes such as knife crime and rape, with the latest figures showing poor prosecution rates, Telegraph reports.
"We don't see the Met with special cars for knife crime, even though the number of stabbings in London is appalling," Harry Miller said, a former police officer and founder of campaign group Fair Cop.
"The problem is that the second that you see a rainbow car, you know that it is a police force that has made its mind up about some very contentious issues. You no longer see a police car or a police officer who is there to support everyone, from all political persuasions, without fear or favor," Miller continued.
"They have literally tied their colors to the mast and painted their cars with their political leanings. They are painting rainbows on their cars when we have figures showing that only seven per cent of violent crime ends in a prosecution," Miller added. "They have moved from policing crime to policing thoughts and speech, because it is easier."