A HATE crime probe has been launched after a black British squaddie found his car daubed with racist and anti-Black Lives Matter graffiti at an army base in Cyprus.
The incident occurred while the car was parked inside the Dhekelia camp, which currently hosts troops from 1st Battalion, The Princess Of Wales’s Royal Regiment, on Thursday.
Photographs posted to social media showed large lettering in black spray paint on the side of a white car.
Among the words written were “BLM TALK TOO MUCH” and “All Life Matter”.
The phrase “All Lives Matter” is often used as a retort to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has organised protests in countries around the world since the death of George Floyd in May.
The graffiti also included the N-word, the BBC reported.
The BBC said it had confirmed that the car was owned by a black British soldier who is serving as part of the regiment.
The car was parked by fencing and security gates when it was vandalised.
The Ministry of Defence has said that a criminal investigation has been launched following the incident.
A statement read: “We are actively supporting the criminal investigation into this repellent and wholly unacceptable incident.
“We always take the strongest action possible against those responsible for this type of unacceptable behaviour.”
It added that such behaviour was “contrary to all we exemplify as an open and welcoming organisation, which draws and relies on people from across the whole of society.”
The UK maintains two bases on the island of Cyprus, Dhekelia and Akrotiri.
The bases are used as a staging point for forces sent to locations in the Middle East and Asia.
Yesterday’s incident comes after chief of the defence staff General Sir Nick Carter called on all army personnel to “refuse to allow intolerance” in June.
Around 25 percent of all complaints logged by the armed forces involve discrimination of some kind.
Following the George Floyd protests, the chiefs of staffs of the various branches of the British military also released a joint statement pledging to improve diversity and inclusion.
“It is mission critical for defence, if we are to safeguard the security, stability and prosperity of our nation, that we recruit and retain the most able people drawn from the broadest diversity of thought, skills and background,” it read.
“While we have made some progress on matters of diversity, inclusion and inappropriate behaviour, we are clear that if we are to improve the diversity and inclusion of our work force we must take urgent action to access and maximise all our talent.”