The main reason I’m writing this is simply because it’s too long for an X Was Twitter. The other reason is to share my views on how & why TJF.
I have spent most of this morning on the phone trying to source a new TV because I was stupid enough to watch the latest episode of To Catch A Copper, The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset, Sarah Crew, had invited the cameras in to see how the PSD and Anti Corruption Unit work, what they do and a cross-section of the sort of incidents they deal with.
This particular episode highlighted 3 particular incidents.
- An incident with a female on a bus
- A Stop and Search for Drugs, and.
- A prisoner who became ill and required removal to hospital.
To address the 3 incidents out of sequence;
The Stop/Search complaint was. in my opinion, relatively minor. Both PSD and the IOPC investigated it and found no evidence of racial profiling etc. My own personal opinion was that the officers could have done a better job of explaining WHY they conducting the Stop/Search, but apart from that I had no problem with anything the officers said, did or the BWV footage.
The incident with the unwell male left me feeling completely uncomfortable, and unless I missed it, there was no update about the incident apart from a) he survived and b) his mother was shown the CCTV of his time in custody and given the opportunity to comment on it. Personally I saw no evidence of overt racism but I do understand how his mother might have thought there was. A significant numbrt of officers failed to get him medical attention when it seemed clear that he needed it. He was subsequently found to have a bleed on the brain which was apparently NOT attributable to Police action, but they didn’t help with the delays in getting him to hospital.
Finally, the incident on the bus, the first segment of the programme. A female with young child was getting stroppy on the bus, to the point where Police were called. The situation rapidly got worse with the female shouting and swearing at the officers, using her child as some sort of shield, eventually assaulted one or both of the officers. I believe it was the female officer then sprayed the irate female with PAVA. Assistance was summoned further officers got onto the bus. She was ev rntually arrested and the inevitable complaint followed;
From what I could see from the BWV the officers had done absolutely nothing wrong, and had shown commendable patierce and restraint up to the point where the PAVA was deployed.
Avon and Somerset PSD investigated and found no evidence of misconduct and the use of PAVA was justified.
Then the IOPC had a crack at it, investigated for 4 months and found no evidence of Misconduct and that the use of PAVA was justified. They recommended some Reflective Practice, because they just had to find something, but two investigations had found no evidence of Misconduct.
Local Community Leaders cried Racism, but I honestly didn’t see any, real or implied. It was the female who had escalated events and I can honestly say that had she been white she would, and should, have been dealt with in exactly the same way.
All ended well you would think. If only. After two investigations had both quite clearly exhonerateted all concered of any Misconduct or Racism, the Chief Constable issued the stroppy female with an apology and a financial settlement.
Why would/should she have done that? If that’s how the Job works now then TJF. totally.
I would invite any doubters to watch the programme yourselves, be 100% honest, and tell me where my assessment is wrong.
I have total respect and support for our brave, fine officers turning up for work every day and Policing under a Chief Constable such as that.