Police force condemns ‘shocking’ allegations of racism as ex-officer claims force had ‘vendetta against black people’

Avon and Somerset Police has described allegations of bullying, harassment and racial discrimination by a former employee as “shocking”.

A south Asian officer has claimed he was mocked for his accent and was given a book on how to speak English by officers.

In an interview with the BBC, the officer said: “They were just being racist and it appeared they had a vendetta against black people.”

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The officer said he was offered £9,000 in compensation back in 2016, but that he declined the offer as he wanted to go for a tribunal. However, when the force threatened him with £30,000 in legal fees if he lost, he withdrew the complaint.

The man – who was then moved to a new team – said: “I was disgusted, horrified and appalled by the unethical practices within the police force and how they use to use foul language when talking about women.

“The prejudice against women was widely accepted and considered a normal thing. Which really made me uncomfortable.”

Avon and Somerset Police has now issued a statement in response to the claims made by the former employee.

It said that the behaviour described does not align with the force’s values and do not tolerate it.

The full statement reads: “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.”

The force said it was aware there’s a national spotlight on the issue of culture and standards in policing today.

It said the force has a dedicated Professional Standards Department and Counter Corruption Unit which it said 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,” it continued.

“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.”

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