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Avon & Somerset Police Federation

“This organisation is showing that they will throw their officers under the bus....” Police Officers look back on Documentary Episode 2

13 February 2024

Avon and Somerset Police Federation has once again canvassed the opinions of its membership following the second broadcast of Channel 4’s, “To Catch A Copper.”

Acting Chair Iain Prideaux said: “It is vital that the Federation capture the thoughts and feelings of members across our Constabulary. Thank you very much for the 260 responses we received this week and although there were a handful of positive comments, the overwhelming majority of comments included how officers are now struggling with their mental health, felt belittled, let down by the Constabulary, felt unsupported and had lost faith in its leadership.

“I am deeply concerned about the effect the documentary is having on the hard working, professional staff and officers who tirelessly help to maintain law and order across our force area.

“Every muscle must now be strained to strengthen the force values of learning, courage, caring and inclusivity to wrap around our staff and give them the unwavering support they deserve.

“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.

“We continue to ask that there be more balance in the coverage and commentary around our colleagues. This branch will continue to publicly praise and value the tireless work performed by the good and caring police officers across Avon and Somerset Constabulary who keep the peace and maintain law and order.”

Comments below from Avon and Somerset Police colleagues following Episode 2 of “To Catch A Copper”:

“I used to be proud of being a constable, the work had meaning. Now we're all institutionally corrupt, misogynist, racist and homophobic.”

“We are breaking. And on top of these pressures we now have to deal with the public’s and family and friends reactions to this programme….. I am so stressed I have become numb and don’t know where to turn or how to support myself with my feelings.”

“This organisation is showing that they will throw their officers, who work so hard for them at the detriment to their own life, under the bus.”

“Where is the support for officers who work tirelessly through daily abuse, assaults and accusations.”

“Making Avon and Somerset Police appear racist, on top of misogynist from last week?! If only the large amount of good work could be highlighted.” 

“Officer’ morale is at an all time low and for what? This programme was a terrible idea.”

“I'm frightened to even breathe in work now, fearful of what I say or do will come back and bite me. How can you expect us to feel ok about this?”

“I feel let down by the chief… my job has now been made 20 times harder.”

“We have got this wrong! Avon and Somerset Constabulary should be absolutely ashamed at the way it has treated its staff.”

“I am seriously considering leaving, after 20 years of service! The lack of leadership is terrible.”

“I was absolutely disgusted with the second episode! Basically made to feel like we have been labelled as racist based on a uniform we wear.”

“This will continue to adversely impact the view that all Police Officers are racist and the trust from BAME communities towards officers may now be impacted.”

“I feel belittled, frightened, powerless to act… Currently struggling with my mental health as a result of how I have been treated in the job.”

“We all need an apology”.