The Temporary Chief Constable of Cumbria Police, Stuart Hyde, has been suspended from duty after a number of allegations of serious misconduct.
Cumbria Police Authority, which oversees the force, says the claims indicate there may have been "a breach in the standards of professional behaviour" in Mr Hyde's role as the force's chief.
– Ray Cole, Cumbria Police Authority Chairman
“The Authority takes all allegations against any police officer seriously and must address these allegations in an appropriate manner.
“This is an isolated matter and does in no way reflect the conduct of the wider Constabulary."
The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The Authority would not comment further on the details of the allegations made against Mr Hyde.
He has been replaced with immediate effect by Bernard Lawson, which is a deputy chief constable at Merseyside Police.
– Bernard Lawson, Acting Chief Constable, Cumbria Police
“I would like to reassure the people of Cumbria that we will continue to work hard during this difficult period to deliver the high standards of service they have come to expect from us."
Stuart Hyde became Temporary Chief Constable in January 2012, after serving as deputy for three years. He began his police career in Bristol in 1983, and has also worked at the West Yorkshire and West Midlands forces, including as a detective.
He is also a board member of the University of Cumbria and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal earlier this year.