Yate PCSO Tony Bristow quits police officer training amid racist text row

Former Yate PCSO Tony Bristow has quit Avon and Somerset Constabulary after sending racist text messages

Former Yate PCSO Tony Bristow has quit Avon and Somerset Constabulary after sending racist text messages

First published in News
Last updated
Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

A FORMER member of the neighbourhood policing team in Yate has quit the force amid mounting pressure after he sent racist text messages to colleagues.

Tony Bristow, who was based at Chipping Sodbury Police Station as a PCSO for six years, has stepped down from Avon and Somerset Constabulary 10 weeks into a 20-week training course to become a Police Constable. It follows public criticism of his selection to become a PC by other serving officers.

A police spokesman said: "Mr Bristow has resigned.

"There has been a lot of pressure over the last couple of weeks as a result of all the publicity.

"The pressure has been substantial and Mr Bristow took the decision to resign as of today."

Mr Bristow, who is in his early forties, was given a written warning and ordered to take part in ‘cultural awareness training’ after he forwarded two bad-taste jokes to colleagues while he was working as a PCSO on the Yate beat. It is believed at least one of the texts was derogatory towards Pakistanis.

However, the force stood by Mr Bristow, who was named South Gloucestershire PC of the Year in 2011, and said he had learnt his lesson.

Superintendent Paul Richards, head of the force’s Professional Standards Department, said: "The PCSO appeared before a disciplinary hearing after he forwarded two ‘jokes’ to colleagues that were clearly racist.

"He apologised unreservedly to all those who were affected and was given a written warning, and required to take part in cultural awareness training.

"He went on to prove himself to be an outstanding PCSO, who had been previously voted PCSO of the Year for South Gloucestershire by his local community.

"There has never been the slightest hint of further racist conduct. Whilst the constabulary doesn’t condone this kind of behaviour, it’s quite obvious that this officer has learnt from his experience.

"In making a selection decision the constabulary has balanced a serious incident with his excellent performance ever since and an outstanding score in his assessment."

A resident of his former Yate beat, who did not want to be named, told the Gazette: "We were just stunned that he had been recruited as a PC. We felt he let us down badly.

"There has been a lot of anger and hurt among quite a few people and we felt it needed dealing with for and on behalf of the good work that the police does. Otherwise it cheapens their efforts."

A serving police officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "We feel like there is a racist in the ranks. He is not the correct person for the job."

Comments (5)

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1:28pm Wed 11 Sep 13

pat.cotterell says...

I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named.
I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named. pat.cotterell
  • Score: 3

7:24pm Wed 11 Sep 13

PC-Anon says...

pat.cotterell wrote:
I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named.
That might be how it started (i.e. the racist jokes being 'outed') but I think his resignation is actually more to do with A&S managers telling him to go before he gets in more trouble (i.e. stealing police equipment and giving it away).
[quote][p][bold]pat.cotterell[/bold] wrote: I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named.[/p][/quote]That might be how it started (i.e. the racist jokes being 'outed') but I think his resignation is actually more to do with A&S managers telling him to go before he gets in more trouble (i.e. stealing police equipment and giving it away). PC-Anon
  • Score: 8

11:34am Thu 12 Sep 13

RichThatsMe says...

I once worked in partnership with Avon & Somerset rooting out homophobia and the Police are full of racist homophobes and the more they do to out racists like him the better the force will become and more trusting the people will be in reporting racist crimes to the police.

I say to catch more officers send undercover coppers to known pubs where off duty coppers drink.
I once worked in partnership with Avon & Somerset rooting out homophobia and the Police are full of racist homophobes and the more they do to out racists like him the better the force will become and more trusting the people will be in reporting racist crimes to the police. I say to catch more officers send undercover coppers to known pubs where off duty coppers drink. RichThatsMe
  • Score: 2

8:55pm Thu 12 Sep 13

israelson666 says...

pat.cotterell wrote:
I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named.
Your totally right. Unfortunately while the Police colleagues back Tony, the people higher up have shown themselves to be spineless and not backed him as they should.

PC Anon is perhaps one of the 2 that ran to the press. If so, maybe the can of worms you opened will come to bite you on the a$$.

And your comment again is not accurate, nor is this article. Fingers crossed we're reading about a particular A***n officer soon, who likes to missbehave in the back of the wagon. Some people should just join MMA and concentrate on doing their job ;)

The people who ran to the press are scum in the eyes of their fellow officers, lets see if the high up PR lovers deal with them as they should or perhaps they will avoid action as there scared of being accused of racism themselves.
[quote][p][bold]pat.cotterell[/bold] wrote: I feel very sorry for Tony Bristow, it sounds like harassment to me from fellow police officers. Who have not the guts to be named.[/p][/quote]Your totally right. Unfortunately while the Police colleagues back Tony, the people higher up have shown themselves to be spineless and not backed him as they should. PC Anon is perhaps one of the 2 that ran to the press. If so, maybe the can of worms you opened will come to bite you on the a$$. And your comment again is not accurate, nor is this article. Fingers crossed we're reading about a particular A***n officer soon, who likes to missbehave in the back of the wagon. Some people should just join MMA and concentrate on doing their job ;) The people who ran to the press are scum in the eyes of their fellow officers, lets see if the high up PR lovers deal with them as they should or perhaps they will avoid action as there scared of being accused of racism themselves. israelson666
  • Score: 0

11:56pm Thu 12 Sep 13

MikeHunt69 says...

Public criticism? What 'public criticism'?

He shouldn't have resigned.
Public criticism? What 'public criticism'? He shouldn't have resigned. MikeHunt69
  • Score: 0

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