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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

Officers react to TV documentary: "It just feels like we have been hung out to dry"

20 February 2024

Iain Prideaux, Acting Chair of Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: “Thank you very much to the 172 officers who responded to our final survey and provided a clear and consistent message of not feeling confident but despondent, devastated and embarrassed. 

"There were a small handful of supportive comments but the overwhelming majority of respondents feel very let down and some are struggling with their mental health. 

"The three documentaries were distressing and they have provoked a wide range of feelings. Your health and wellbeing is paramount, and for those of you who have appeared in the documentaries, you have access to occupational health. 

"If you are affected by the documentaries, please talk to your line manager for a referral to occupational health and there is access to Health Assured for everyone. Please also consider speaking to your GP and if you’re in the Federation’s Group Insurance Scheme, there is counselling support there too. 

"Whilst many of our members have described struggling to feel pride in policing, there is a great deal to be proud about. You have safeguarded children, vulnerable adults and rescued people from unimaginable cruelty at the hands of perpetrators. 

"You have disrupted and prevented the movement of people, firearms and drugs from organised gangs. You have been the trusted ear that broken people have confided in when others wouldn’t or couldn’t listen to their pain.

"You have been the brake when violence needed to stop and the accelerator to help people move away from harm. You have opened doors to freedom and closed doors on exploitation. You have been the shoulder for colleagues to cry on and the arms that have picked them up. 

"You have set standards of relentless professionalism that means your ceiling is the floor for new recruits to stand on. You run toward danger and are the sworn protectors of peace. 

"You plug the gaps, stand in the breaches and hold the line time and time again. Hero’s don’t wear capes, they wear a modest heart of service that is rarely publicly rewarded but I believe that every decent person in the country is grateful that you parade for duty and commit your best to keep them safe. 

"We will share your experiences of the documentary with the Constabulary. We will work with the Constabulary to support you, celebrate you and reward you. It’s the Constabulary’s 50th anniversary and there is much to look back on and feel immensely proud about. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to keeping us safe.”