Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary to step down

Countryboy

Clanker
Metro link

CC of Avon and Somerset will not renew his contract.
PCC elections next month too.

Interesting reflections from the man himself, he must have seen a few changes over the years.

The Times:
The chief constable of Avon and Somerset is stepping down after his force was criticised over its handling of protests and Bristol suffered its worst rioting in a decade.

Andy Marsh, who has led the force since 2016, said that he would not seek an extension to his contract when it runs out in the summer.

Marsh told senior colleagues last summer that he feared for his future in the job after sustained public criticism of him when officers stood back as protesters tore down the statue of the slave trader Edward Colston as part of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and threw it into Bristol’s harbour.

The statue was later recovered. Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol, said he could not condone criminal damage, but described the statue as a “personal affront” to him and toppling it as an “act of historical poetry”.


Priti Patel, the home secretary, was said to have had a “firm” conversation with Marsh afterwards in which she demanded an explanation, made clear that she expected those who pulled the statue down to be charged and told him he must uphold the law.

Mark Shelford, the area’s Conservative candidate for police and crime commissioner, tweeted that the lack of intervention was “terrible senior police leadership and local political leadership”.

Marsh, who defended the force’s tactics during the BLM protests and said that trying to arrest the activists would have resulted in a “very violent confrontation”, was later backed in a report by the police watchdog.
Last month more than 40 police officers were injured and two police vehicles were set on fire in clashes with activists who were angry about government plans to place new restrictions on protest. The force has since been criticised for deploying aggressive tactics during the “Kill the Bill” protests.

Marsh received public support from government ministers including Patel after an initially peaceful rally against the plans deteriorated into the worst disorder in Bristol since riots in 2011.
About 500 people marched on Bridewell police station, set fire to police vehicles and attacked the station. Protests on March 23 and 26 also ended with violence. More than 30 people were arrested.

Avon and Somerset called in public order officers from other forces to help quell unrest and clamp down at future protests but these tactics have also drawn criticism for heavy-handedness.

Marsh, who will leave at the beginning of July, described his job as the “honour of a lifetime” and said it would be a “wrench” to leave the force.

In a statement yesterday he said: “To leave a force I first joined in 1987 has been a difficult decision to make, but I feel it is the right time for me to embark on a new challenge and for another person to take the helm and continue on the journey to make Avon and Somerset police the outstanding force it deserves to be.”

Marsh, who has served in the senior leadership of two other police forces and was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2018, paid tribute to his colleagues “and the work they do every day to serve and protect the public”.

He said he was proud to have played a national role in promoting the use of body-worn cameras by police officers and that he took pride in Avon and Somerset’s “trail-blazing advances” in equipping officers and staff with new technology.

The statement did not mention the challenges of policing the protests in Bristol, which will inevitably form a significant part of his legacy.

Sue Mountstevens, the independent police commissioner, is not contesting the election for the role, which includes appointing the next chief, next month. A tight contest is predicted between Labour and the Conservatives. John Smith, the deputy PCC until recently, is running as an independent.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Mixed feelings on this. Saying that arresting the ringleaders would have resulted in violent confrontation gives way to gang rule, whatever an independent inquiry might say.

One way or another, his waffle about policing with consent was what turned me off. He had the consent, and more than that the wishes, of the majority population to consider or uphold. He failed there.
 
Last edited:

Countryboy

Clanker
Mixed feelings on this. Saying that arresting the ringleaders would have resulted in violent confrontation gives way to gang rule, whatever an independent enquiry might say.

One way or another, his waffle about policing with consent was what turned me off. He had the consent, and more than that the wishes, of the majority population to consider or uphold. He failed there.
It's interesting isn't it, he has a point about de-escalation etc ... but of course then six months later the buggers came back to burn down his vans.
Sometimes I think you have to nip things in the bud, earlier, before they get worse and if that requires a bit of controlled aggression and assertive behaviour and the oiks don't like it, so be it.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
It's interesting isn't it, he has a point about de-escalation etc ... but of course then six months later the buggers came back to burn down his vans.
Sometimes I think you have to nip things in the bud, earlier, before they get worse and if that requires a bit of controlled aggression and assertive behaviour and the oiks don't like it, so be it.
He gave in to the mob.
 
Letting the mob topple the statue of Colston whilst standing back and watching them was not his best ever career decision.
Their intentions were made very public and well in advance and there were a number of other options he could have taken but didn't.
It has all just escalated down there since and look where that has got him and the city of Bristol.
Interesting that the Bristol.gov home page shows the BLM logo and that the council is overwhelmingly Labour, so I think I can see where his problems lie.
Saying that he was a volunteer for the job, not a pressed man and knew what he was there for.
 

Countryboy

Clanker
Letting the mob topple the statue of Colston whilst standing back and watching them was not his best ever career decision.
Their intentions were made very public and well in advance and there were a number of other options he could have taken but didn't.
It has all just escalated down there since and look where that has got him and the city of Bristol.
Interesting that the Bristol.gov home page shows the BLM logo and that the council is overwhelmingly Labour, so I think I can see where his problems lie.
Saying that he was a volunteer for the job, not a pressed man and knew what he was there for.
Aye, that must be a bigger problem policing the cities than the shires, more council involvement, which generally lean one way or the other. I thin in places like Manchester and London the Mayor is the PCC, so they have even more control.
The Bristol Mayor seemed to agree with said criminal activity...
 
Letting the mob topple the statue of Colston whilst standing back and watching them was not his best ever career decision.

That cheeky wink to the camera last summer as he said he made a "very tactical decision" not to intervene directly precipitated the unrest we are seeing on his patch in the present time. He is a disgrace and should have been removed from his post that day.
 

4(T)

LE
That cheeky wink to the camera last summer as he said he made a "very tactical decision" not to intervene directly precipitated the unrest we are seeing on his patch in the present time. He is a disgrace and should have been removed from his post that day.


Where does he get his lead from, though?

Look at the government - the PM and his ministers have made no attempt to end the culture of political policing and the selective application of the law.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Where does he get his lead from, though?

Look at the government - the PM and his ministers have made no attempt to end the culture of political policing and the selective application of the law.
Not making excuses but I imagine that Brexit and pandemic have Benn rather preoccupying.

I'd contend that a lot of the political agitation - which is what it is - of BLM and 'rape culture' couldn't have happened in more normal times.

That said, it's for those at the tier under government to step up and do the job in the Cabinet's place.

On that basis Marsh, and others including Dick, have failed.
 
"Marvin has declared Bristol a City of Hope, built on ambition, inclusion and social justice."

Note the use of first name.
He seems to have had a lot of political 'grooming' and box ticking (worked for BBC etc) so, who are his powerfull friends pulling strings? Bristol has large student and ethnic population, with a lot of white flight to South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath area. Greens have a foothold, so it will be interesting to see where the post Brexit student vote goes this time, not seen full list of candidates yet as nominations closed yesterday.
 
I'd be happy to see him torn down and thrown in the river by a violent mob as his retirement Guard of (Dis)Honour stand idly by sending tweats and selfys to Marvin.

The gutless wretch.
 

NSP

LE
Good riddance. Let's hope the next one isn't even more of a wet lettuce as the last two.
 

Latest Threads

Top