Arabic decals on London police cruisers spark online uproar

Though the decals for the Arabic word police have been on London police cruisers for nine years, people only recently expressed frustration with the show of inclusiveness.

London police started using decals of the word 'police' in other languages in 2009

London police started using decals that display the word police in several different languages back in 2009. (London Police Service)

Slapping the Arabic word for police onto London patrol cars has sparked an online uproar involving thousands of social media posts.

In the latest string of racially charged incidents in the southern Ontario city, photos of the Arabic decal were posted on Facebook May 30 by a man from Quebec.

His comments include the statement: "So it starts. The little toes in the door already."

He also asks the question: "Why is this acceptable?"

The post has already been shared nearly 12,000 times with several people adding similar xenophobic opinions. Those posts have led to dozens of calls to London police with people asking to have them removed.

"We have received a number of emails, a number of inquiries, a number of phone calls," said Const. Sandasha Bough. 

Inclusive campaign

Bough explains to callers the decals have been there for years as a way to represent many of the city's various ethnic groups.

Arabic is just one language chosen in a larger campaign, started back in 2009, but it is the only one to draw criticism.

Using figures from Statistics Canada, officials selected the most frequently used languages for the stickers, including Vietnamese, Chinese, Persian and Polish.

"It was a means of being inclusive of the diverse members within the city of London," she told CBC News.