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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.

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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.

BREAKING: Chief Constable Nick Gargan suspended

The Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Police Nick Gargan has been suspended from duty over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The IPCC has begun an investigation.

This investigation follows a referral from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset and is in to a number of serious allegations that relate to inappropriate conduct towards female members of staff at the force."

– Independent Police Complaints Commission

New Avon and Somerset Police Chief announced

The next Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police has been proposed as Nick Gargan.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens announced her choice on Saturday morning.

She said " I am delighted to propose Nick Gargan as the next Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset. Nick is an experienced chief officer who has been working on a national level as Chief Constable and Chief Executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency. "

The decision must be confirmed by the Police and Crime Panel which meets on Wednesday. If they approve Mr Gargan as the next Police Chief, he will take up his role on March 1 2013.

Nick Gargan named as next Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

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