BristolianDynamite | Bully culture in A&S Constabulary.

I was a PCDA student and being in the police was my ambition. My family didn’t like the idea of being in the armed forces, so I compromised.

Coming from a working class area with poverty and underachievement around me, I did get initial flak in the processing stage from a couple individuals, but I placed that down as banter and didn’t take it seriously.

On my placement at Trinity Rd however, I got assigned a tutor who we will call Steve. My actual tutor was on holiday, and Steve was my replacement tutor.

Steve constantly put me down, didn’t want to help, and openly told me he didn’t want to be stuck with me. Imagine that in your first days of being in an already highly charged, competitive workplace in a sector that you’ve never been in before. When England beat Ukraine 4-0, he and the other colleagues sat downstairs and watched it whilst I was doing important paperwork for the CPS upstairs, just me and the [redacted for legal reasons].

Given it was my training period, I know I wouldn’t know it all, and I needed guidance on what to put down as if anything is incorrect on these forms it could be the case thrown out of court and I was petrified of that happening. So I went downstairs, laptop in hand to ask Steve for help.

Word for word, “What the fuck are they training you these days? Shouldn’t you know this by now? Go away, you’ll figure it out” waving his hands. Some people on the table of around 20 looked at me and laughed, others smirked.

I felt totally demoralised. Not gonna lie, even as a then 23 year old grown man, I had to go to the bathroom and cry. I called my parents, and wanted to just leave. Of course I couldn’t, I had a duty to complete this work regardless of how I feel. I then went back upstairs to the [senior rank redacted], asked him the same. He was far kinder but admitted he doesn’t do this paperwork very often anymore, so couldn’t help me either. It took me going outside of my working hours to a university assessor for help.

This isn’t good enough. No one was a leader and stood up for me, and the bully culture in the force will not change until the nasty people are held accountable and not enabled. We are there to uphold the law and help citizens, not to bully colleagues.

I won’t even get into the hushed rumours of “Join the force, get divorced” mantra that was bandied about but suffice to say if you have a partner in the police – be wary because they have a heightened incentive to cheat on you.

Constabulary: Avon and Somerset Police

Timespan: 2020-2021

Did you report it to the police?: Yes

Do you want to revisit this with the police?: No

Could you tell us why not?: There would be no point, I would prefer the energy be spent on individuals who suffered greater than I did.

Your ethnicity: White British

Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: Thoughts/feelings

Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: No


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