One U.K. police officer showed his true colors with his choice of headwear, donning a rainbow on his helmet in support of LGBT rights.
Today is #IDAHOBIT… the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.— Cambs Police 💙 (@CambsCops) May 17, 2022
To mark the occasion Superintendent James Sutherland donned his ever so colourful rainbow custodian on patrol around #Cambridge this morning.
Did you spot him? #SaferCambs #IDAHOBIT22 pic.twitter.com/MpqyHoAcAr
The Cambridgeshire officer wore the helmet Tuesday to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, prompting some to criticize the move.
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“Similar to a number of other forces, on Monday Cambridgeshire supported the LGBTQ+ community by marking International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Lesbophobia & Transphobia," the department told the Washington Examiner. "We are committed to being an inclusive force and ensuring our communities have confidence in our ability to protect them. Sadly, members of the LGBTQ+ community are still victims of hate crimes and we want to use every opportunity to stand with those communities."
The post elicited criticism from several users, who decried it as an act of virtue signaling and a distraction from crime prevention.
Police said the helmet, which was made by local students, was intended to exemplify the force’s inclusivity and “has no political message," the agency said.
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Superintendent James Sutherland, the officer featured in the photo, has worn the helmet to events in recent years, debuting the rainbow-themed headwear at a Pride event in 2019 alongside his fellow officers.
“We had such a fantastic day. It’s hugely important that we attend these events to show our support and love for the lives and rights of the LGBT+ community,” the officer told the London Economic. “Sadly, this group of people still have to endure hate and discrimination and we want to show we will not tolerate it.”