Sussex Police has defended its decision to spend hundreds of pounds on livery for two of its cars for Gay Pride events.
The cars, which will appear at Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings and London Pride events, will help to “promote LGBT equality” according to a spokesperson from the force.
But some online critics have branded the car “an embarrassment” and “a joke”, accusing Sussex Police of wasting taxpayers’ money.
Controversial newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins also criticised the force on Twitter for its use of funds.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “This year Sussex Police has spent £750 (including VAT) on livery/decor for two police cars.
“One is a Brighton based fleet car and will appear in the Brighton and Hove Pride Parade on Saturday August 5.
“The other vehicle is a fleet car from Eastbourne and this will attend Eastbourne Pride, Hastings Pride and London Pride.
“The artwork was added to the cars by the company who our current livery contract is held with.
“Other than during these events, the cars will be used as a normal resource alongside other fleet vehicles on the divisions.
“Sussex Police play a large role in the policing of Pride which is one of the biggest events that takes place in Brighton and Hove each year.
“We also feel it is important to promote LGBT equality within our local communities and build upon our relationship with those who come from minority groups.
“By taking part in the parade we hope to show that we are a supportive and open-minded organisation who the people of Sussex can trust and have confidence in.”