I want to express my support for the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police following the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary about misconduct.
The series, which goes behind the scenes to look at the work of the Police’s Professional Standards Department (PSD), is not an easy watch but the fact that it has been made at all is testament to Avon and Somerset Police’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The incidents shown in this first episode relate to mental health and sexual misconduct. They are shocking and distressing to watch and we should have compassion towards the people whose stories have been featured in this series. The behaviours shown have no place in the police service.
While these cases are extreme, they are in the minority, and I support the challenging and vital work the PSD teams do in investigating these serious and traumatic cases. Rooting out people who do not deserve to be part of the police is fundamental in building a culture of policing which upholds the highest standards that we should expect.
Police officers need to be able to operate within a supportive and reflective practice culture where illegal actions are rightly investigated. However, this must not be to the detriment of growth and continuous development for the majority of officers, who work hard every day to uphold high standards while doing a difficult and complex job.
Where to go for support and further information
- Anyone affected by any of the issues featured in this series can seek advice and information from Victim Support: Home – Victim Support
- I also urge everyone to report all crimes: Report | Avon and Somerset Police or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111
- My office is responsible for independently scrutinising the work of every aspect of policing with the support of members of the public, for more information on this: Volunteering | OPCC for Avon and Somerset (avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk)
- My office has a complaints process which can be accessed here: Complaints process | OPCC for Avon and Somerset (avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk)