An award-winning policeman has finally bowed to pressure and stepped down after he was slammed by fellow officers – for sending RACIST text messages.
Tony Bristow was given a written warning and ordered to take part in ‘cultural awareness training’ after he forwarded two bad-taste jokes to colleagues.
It is believed at least one of the texts sent by Bristow – once named a PCSO of the Year – was derogatory towards Pakistanis.
But despite the racist jokes he was recruited as a full-time constable at Avon and Somerset force headquarters in Portishead, Bristol.
However Bristow, who was half-way through his 20-weeks training, has now stepped down from the role after he was publically criticised by fellow officers.
A police spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed: “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.”
Bristow worked as a PCSO for six years as part of the Yate beat team, but based in Chipping Sodbury, South Glos., before he applied to become a constable.
He was crowned PCSO of the Year for South Gloucestershire in March 2011 – but just two months later he sent the derogatory text messages.
The force said his “excellent performance” during his years as a Community Support Officer and his “outstanding” recruitment assessment score were major factors in his successful application.
Superintendent Paul Richards, the 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.”
Mr Bristow, who is in his early forties, served in the RAF, then worked in IT before joining the force.
The demand to get into the police force is extremely high.
Earlier this year, when recruitment opened following a two-year freeze, the force received 3,996 applications to fill between 100 and 150 vacancies.