North Yorkshire Police have unveiled their rainbow wrapped police van, which is to form part of the York Pride parade on Saturday 9 June 2018 and the Harrogate Pride in Diversity parade the following weekend, on Saturday 16 June 2018.
The van, painted with the colours of the vibrant rainbow flag, is a fully operational police vehicle which will attend police incidents, but will also be used by neighbourhood policing teams for local engagement events.
The cost has been £140 for the wrap material and it was fitted by officers themselves in their normal working hours.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have also recently wrapped a fire vehicle and received criticism on social media over the costs.
Temporary Chief Constable Lisa Winward said:
North Yorkshire Police is an inclusive organisation and we are here to protect and represent everyone, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, race, religion or disability.
By having the van out and about on the road, wrapped in the Pride flag colours, everyone can see our commitment to stopping the victimisation of LGBT people and raising awareness of hate crime reporting.
We know that hate crime is an under reported crime and some people feel that they cannot approach us if they have been subjected to verbal or physical assault because of their sexuality or gender identity. We want to break down these barriers and encourage victims to come forward and make a report to the police.
Our own LGBT network were the driving force behind the van and I know they are really looking forward to showing it off and representing North Yorkshire Police at both of the forthcoming Pride parades.
PC John Topham said:
Members of the North Yorkshire Police LGBT network were key to getting the van ready for the Pride events and we’re proud to be flying the rainbow flag and taking part.
The colours of the Pride flag on the van is just one way we can show that North Yorkshire Police cares about the LGBT community and is committed to stopping the type of victimisation that sadly some LGBT people are subjected to on a daily basis.
We hope by being part of the York Pride and Harrogate Pride events we encourage them to come forward and report any incidents to us, knowing that they will be listened to and taken seriously.
Julia Mulligan, elected Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said:
I am very proud to support the Pride event, and I hope it goes some way to reassure our LGBT+ communities that policing is alive to their concerns regarding hate crime and other issues. This is an open, welcoming police service and everyone will be treated with dignity and respect when they come forward..