Inspector calls for police chief’s resignation
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 October 2015
THE next stage of the process to require Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s suspended Chief Constable Nick Gargan to resign has begun.
The constabulary’s Police and Crime Comissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens has received a response from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Thomas Winsor confirming he has initiated a process which could see Mr Gargan – who is currently suspended on his full £150,000-a-year salary – forced to resign.
Ms Mountstevens began the process in August under section 38 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, when she said the force had ‘lost confidence’ in Mr Gargan’s leadership.
The decision came after an independent panel found Gargan guilty of eight counts of misconduct, following a hearing which cost more than £570,000.
Speaking at the time Ms Mountstevens said: “He abused his position by forwarding confidential emails, interfering with a proper recruitment process and sending, receiving and storing intimate images on his police-issue phone.”
Now after reading a report from Ms Mountstevens, Sir Winsor has agreed to initiate the section 38 process.
His report says: “He has been found guilty of multiple counts of misconduct which, inevitably, significantly adversely affect his reputation and wider public opinion concerning Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
“It appears that the officers, particularly the senior officers who work mostly closely with him, and staff of the constabulary do not have confidence in CC Gargan.”
Mr Gargan will now have two weeks to make his arguments to Ms Mountstevens.
The decision on whether or not to continue with the process will then rest on the PCC’s shoulders.
If she decides to continue, the Police and Crime Panel and Mr Gargan will be notified and a private hearing will take place where both Mr Gargan and Ms Mountstevens can make their representations.
The panel will then make a recommendation to the PCC, which she must take into account before making a final decision.