UK police spend £66,000 on 'woke' rainbow LGBT merchandise

9 January 2023, 09:33 | Updated: 9 January 2023, 09:45

Police have spent more than £66k on pride merchandise
Police have spent more than £66k on pride merchandise. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Police forces around the UK have spent £66,000 on rainbow-themed merchandise, including flags, selfie frames and pens.

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Figures revealed £66,689 was spent on LGBT merchandise across 27 forces in England and Wales between 2019 and 2022.

The highest spending police force was South Wales Police, which spent £24,000 on rainbow items, including flags, face paints, T-shirts, badges, pens, whistles and wristbands.

They were followed by Kent Police, which racked up £8,000 in LGBT goods.

Lancashire Police bought £1,500 worth of rainbow lip balm, flags, keyrings, lanyards and stickers, while Wiltshire Police spent over £500 on LGBT lanyards and “rainbow fuzzy bugs”.

The investigation shared to the Telegraph by the Taxpayers’ Alliance also found that hundreds of pounds had been spent on decorating police cars in rainbow colours.

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Police at Brighton Pride (stock image)
Police at Brighton Pride (stock image). Picture: Alamy

Other forces contributing to the spending on rainbow products were Staffordshire Police which invested more than £3,000 in shoelaces, balloons and lanyards, and Northamptonshire Police, which spent £337 on items including LGBT selfie frames, bunting and photo filters for social media.

Essex Police spent £7,700 on rainbow merchandise but did not break down which types and the Ministry of Defence Police spent almost £1,000 on rainbow flags, lanyards and mugs.

Greater Manchester Police had a £2,900 spend, including on rainbow epaulettes.

Hundreds have been spent on decorating cars too.
Hundreds have been spent on decorating cars too. Picture: Alamy

Tom Ryan, a researcher at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, accused police chiefs of “wasting money on woke nonsense”.

"Police chiefs have been caught red-handed wasting money on woke nonsense," he said.

“With crime on the up, it will bring little comfort to Brits knowing that bobbies are kitted out with rainbow merchandise.

“Police forces should put a stop to this pointless spending and focus funds on the frontline.”

Chief Superintendent Amanda Tillotson, of the diversity and inclusion academy at Kent Police, told the paper that the force's “LGBT+ crime-prevention merchandise” works to “regularly remind the wider public of the importance of communities working together to support and protect each other”.

She added that they “take our responsibilities to all communities as laid out by the Equality Act 2010 extremely seriously” and are committed to “deliver a first-class service to victims and witnesses of all crime”.

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