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Chief Constable found guilty of misconduct

Nick Gargan had been suspended on full pay since May last year. Credit: PA

The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police has been found guilty of misconduct at a private panel hearing today.

Nick Gargan faced ten charges of gross misconduct and three of misconduct, and has been found guilty of eight at the level of misconduct, though not of gross misconduct.

The Chief Constable was accused of leaking internal emails and behaving inappropriately towards female staff members last year. He has been suspended on full pay ever since.

His suspension has been lifted, and after a hearing on what sanctions he will receive, he is due to return to work.

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Chief Constable misconduct hearing will be in private

Nick Gargan denies any wrongdoing Credit: PA

A gross misconduct hearing into the actions of the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset will not be held in public.

Nick Gargan was suspended from his role in May accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women and disclosing confidential information. The Independent Police Complaints Commission consulted on holding the hearing in the open but found that vulnerable witnesses should be protected in giving evidence. Mr Gargan denies the claims.

Chief Constable panel could be held in public

Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended in May amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. Credit: PA

A gross misconduct hearing for the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset could be held in public.

Nick Gargan is accused of making inappropriate advances to female colleagues, and disclosing confidential information.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission can hold hearings in public if it decides there are exceptional circumstances. It is holding a consultation on the issue which will run until Wednesday 10 December.

Statement on PCC decision regarding Chief Constable Nick Gargan

The Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) has issued a statement following the decision by the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner to call for a misconduct hearing into allegations of inappropriate misconduct by Chief Constable Nick Gargan.

We await specific details of the alleged breaches of the Police Code of Conduct. It would be inappropriate to comment until they have been provided - except to say that Chief Constable Gargan will continue to cooperate fully with the process and wants to get back to work as quickly as possible.

– Spokesman for the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA)

Chief Constable to face misconduct hearing

Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended in May amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. Credit: PA

Nick Gargan, the Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset, who was suspended in May amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff will face a misconduct hearing.

It follows an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the allegations.

Nick Gargan denies any inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens has made a full statement on the decision:

Following the conclusion of the IPCC’s investigation into allegations in relation to the improper disclosure of information and inappropriate behaviour towards women, made about Chief Constable Nick Gargan, I was provided with the IPCC’s report and had 15 working days to make a decision on whether or not to refer the matter to misconduct proceedings.

The IPCC put forward a number of recommendations regarding Nick Gargan. In accordance with those recommendations, I have made the decision there is a case to answer for gross misconduct and therefore I will refer the allegations to a misconduct hearing in front of an independent misconduct panel. I will not be involved in the misconduct panel.

The misconduct panel will consist of a leading counsel from a Home Office agreed list, who will act as Chair of the Panel, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary or another HMIC inspector of constabulary nominated by him and an independent member of the public.

The members of the panel will decide if the allegations are proven or not and will present their recommendations to me. I will ensure that these recommendations are made public.

The exact timing of the misconduct panel will depend on various factors, however it will take place as soon as possible, hopefully in the next few months.

– Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner

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Head of Avon and Somerset Police won't be prosecuted over claims of gross misconduct

Nick Gargan won't be prosecuted over claims of gross misconduct Credit: ITV News

A Chief Constable, suspended over claims of inappropriate advances to junior female members of staff, won't be prosecuted.

Nick Gargan, head of Avon and Somerset police, was interviewed under criminal caution regarding allegations of gross misconduct for alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act.

It was claimed that he abused the police email system by sending messages about police business, containing personal data, to individuals unconnected to the force.

He was suspended in May and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) launched an investigation which they have now completed.

They announced today that Mr Gargan won't face criminal charges.

Instead, Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, will decide on his fate.

"I have provided the police and crime commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, with a report detailing our findings as to whether or not Mr Gargan has a case to answer for either misconduct or gross misconduct and should face disciplinary proceedings.

"Our investigation uncovered evidence that the Chief Constable may have breached the Data Protection Act by sending emails concerning police business, which contained personal data, to individuals unconnected to the force. Having thoroughly considered that evidence, I decided that it was insufficient for a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service.

"Under police complaints procedure, it is now a matter for the PCC to respond to me with a decision on what action she proposes to take as a result of our findings.”

– IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne

Policing "won't be affected" by suspension

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens says the Chief Constable's suspension won't affect policing Credit: PA

The Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner says day-to-day policing won't be affected following the suspension of the Chief Constable.

Nick Gargan was suspended yesterday amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. Sue Mountstevens says he'll be investigated in exactly the same way as any other officer.

Chief Constable Nick Gargan suspended from duty

Nick Gargan has been suspended over allegations of inappropriate behaviour Credit: PA

Avon and Somerset Police chief constable Nick Gargan has been suspended over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female officers.

Avon and Somerset deputy chief constable John Long will act as temporary chief constable.

Mr Gargan started his career with Leicestershire Constabulary in 1988 after completing a degree in French and politics at the University of Leicester.

He worked extensively on the investigation into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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