YOU can find out how Avon and Somerset Police officers and staff investigate colleagues suspected of misconduct in a Channel 4 documentary.

Story Films filmed the force's Professional Standards Department, including its Counter-Corruption Unit (CCU), to shine a light on an area of policing which acts as a guardian of the high standards expected of officers who vow to serve and protect.

The result is To Catch a Copper, to be broadcast over three Monday nights from January 29.

Each episode looks into a specific theme - sexual misconduct; race matters; and mental health.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew said: “When we first invited Story Films to follow the dedicated officers and staff who work in our Professional Standards Department, we could never have foreseen the intense publicity and scrutiny this area of policing would experience over the following years.

“It’s abundantly clear the public’s confidence in policing has been critically dented by the horrific actions of officers like Wayne Couzens and David Carrick, and urgent recovery work must be undertaken to restore this precious bond we have with our communities.

“We knew that taking part in this documentary would be a controversial decision. Public institutions can be reluctant to open themselves up to this level of scrutiny, but people will see that we’re facing into the issues, however uncomfortable, which I hope will help to improve trust and confidence in our ability to police by consent.

“I want people to see that we understand their concerns, and we’re taking robust action to tackle all forms of misconduct, rooting out those who have no place in this profession and making sure they can never serve again."

She added: "I want to be clear from the outset, we’re sorry for the harm and distress the cases featuring in this programme have caused. Some of these cases are upsetting and appalling and we wish they had never happened.

“These cases are the exception and not the rule. They do not reflect on the professionalism and caring approach of the vast majority of officers and staff who are passionate about their role in keeping people safe, as well as fighting for fairness and justice.

“To put it into context, at the end of last year, we had 6,668 officers and staff, plus a further 211 Special Constables. And over a five-year period, between January 2019 and December 2023, a total of 56 officers and 44 staff/PCSOs either were dismissed during a misconduct hearing or would have been dismissed had they not resigned prior to it taking place."

A force spokesperson said: "We’ve invested in our capability to identify and root out those who have no place in policing. We’ve increased the number of investigators in our CCU and now have more staff in our vetting teams. We’ve also increased the number of analysts/researchers in CCU which will help identify internal threats early so we can intervene.

"We’re creating a culture of upstanders, not bystanders, to encourage reporting. There’s no option for officers and staff to sit on the side-lines and everyone is urged to report concerns about a colleagues’ behaviour or integrity to our PSD via an anonymous app or confidential phone reporting system."