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Statement following report in today’s media

A report in today’s media concerning allegations of bullying, harassment and racial discrimination by a former employee is shocking.

The behaviour that’s been described as happening 10-12 years ago does not align with our values and we do not tolerate it.

These values of Caring; Courageous; Learning and Inclusive are the golden thread of our police service and we expect every officer, police staff member and volunteer to live by them.

Maintaining public trust and confidence in us is absolutely critical and we are fully aware the impact such allegations have on our relationships with our communities and our ability to work together with them.

We’d like to reassure people we are committed to understanding what took place and how it was dealt with at the time.

As an organisation, we reflect on everything we do. Should we identify any missed opportunities, or ways in which we can improve, after reviewing our records relating to this media report then we will absolutely take steps to do so.

We know there’s a national spotlight on the issue of culture and standards in policing today.

In Avon and Somerset we have a dedicated Professional Standards Department and Counter Corruption Unit which are robust in tackling all forms of misconduct.

We won’t shy away from rooting out those who do not share our values as they simply do not belong in our organisation.

We have made it clear to all officers and staff that if they’re aware of conduct or behaviour which causes them concern, we expect them to call it out. Ignoring it is not an option.

Our Chief Constable spoke about culture in policing on BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday. You can listen to her interview here.

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