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'Virtue signalling nonsense': Police slammed for 'woke' rainbow helmet worn by officer
19 May 2022, 07:07 | Updated: 19 May 2022, 08:32
A police force has come under fire after an officer went on patrol wearing a rainbow helmet to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
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Cambridgeshire Police were criticised after sharing pictures of Superintendent James Sutherland wearing the brightly coloured helmet while patrolling Cambridge on Monday.
They said: "Today is #IDAHOBIT… the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
"To mark the occasion Superintendent James Sutherland donned his ever so colourful rainbow custodian on patrol around #Cambridge this morning."
However, locals condemned the "virtue signalling nonsense" suggesting it "undermines [the force's] credibility.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse told LBC today: “If he’s wearing that in a community environment then it’s a matter for his chief constable.
“If he’s got to the rank of superintendent it means he’s had an impressive career thus far and I can guarantee he will have nicked a lot of villains during his career.
“I’m a bit old-fashioned. I like brass buttons and a smart look, but as I say, he’s a senior police officer. He will have done a lot of villain nicking. I have to salute him for his service and treat this as one of those minor issues.”
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
One person slammed the move on Twitter, saying: "Non issue helmet, no body armour or personal protection equipment ... In other words a woke photo opportunity.
"The public would just like the police to 'police'. More virtue signalling nonsense."
Another said: "This virtue signalling nonsense has to stop."
A third person tweeted: "How about doing some policing instead of being woke, it undermines your credibility."
Supt Sutherland was previously pictured wearing the helmet during an Ely Pride event.
Cambridgeshire Police said it was "committed to being inclusive" and claimed the helmet, which was made by local students, "has no political message", according to the Mail.