Grampian Police, one of the country’s largest police forces, is to display the rainbow flag in all of its offices to support gay rights.

Stickers of the flag will be seen in all of the force’s windows.

PC Derek Allison, Aberdeenshire division diversity officer, said: “It is a great way of advertising the Grampian Police commitment and understanding of equality and diversity.

“The rainbow colours are recognised worldwide and for our communities to see this being displayed in all police offices is very positive. There may be some people who will not be aware of what the stickers represent but it is hoped that with them being displayed so openly they will prompt people to ask.”

However, the idea has been attacked as a waste of money.

Conservative justice spokesman Bill Aitken told the Scotsman: “This is just them going through the motions of political correctness. It’s a total waste of public money.”

A Stonewall Scotland spokeswoman praised the move, citing the history of LGBT people mistrusting the police.

She said: “It’s great that Grampian Police are displaying the rainbow flag. It’s vitally important that any police force serve the whole community – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

“Historically LGBT people have had good reason to mistrust the police – flying the flag is one way for Grampian Police to show they will treat everyone equally.”

In May, four police forces flew the rainbow flag to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.