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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Channel 4 Documentary: Avon and Somerset Police Federation Statement

29 January 2024

Avon and Somerset Police Officers are out on our streets day and night putting their lives on the line to fight crime and keep people safe.

All officers understand and accept they will be subject to scrutiny for their actions.

This comes with our work - and our professional standards must always be high.

This is right and proper. 

Officers undertake a very testing, demanding and stressful role, some of which was broadcast on a Channel 4 documentary on Monday (29 January).  

Police officers have no issue with being held accountable for their actions – we are the most accountable of public services. But whilst putting policing under a microscope there should always be ample fairness and balance.

And colleagues deserve due process in all legal and conduct proceedings. There should not be a presumption of guilt.

In terms of the documentary, colleagues will wonder why we did not see a focus on the dangers colleagues face every day and the complexity of what we are faced with.

Where is the documentary on the thousands of hard working, brave and courageous police officers - who are out there as you read this - working tirelessly to keep people safe?

This wouldn’t take five years to make, it would take five days.

The Federation will make no apology for speaking up for our good officers. We do it today and will continue to do so.

Our colleagues come to work every day to make a difference. And actions that can take place in seconds can be poured over for years by those with hindsight. Including by their chief officers.

Again, we say everyone deserves a fair hearing and due process.

Our view is that everyone now has to work together to move Avon and Somerset Police forward and make it a proud organisation that the public respect and trust.

And equally that people want to be part of and serve in.