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Police and Crime Commissioner’s statement following broadcast of Channel 4 documentary

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.

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