Police boss served ‘gross misconduct’ notice
PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:17 23 June 2014
POLICE watchdog officials are investigating whether Chief Constable Nick Gargan ‘abused his senior position’ to make ‘inappropriate advances to more junior female members of staff’.
Mr Gargan’s conduct is under scrutiny after allegations were made by two female workers, and more than 40 of his colleagues have been interviewed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
He has been handed a ‘gross misconduct notice’ and will remain suspended from the force until the investigation is complete.
Once investigating officers have collated the intelligence from police officers and staff, Mr Gargan will be questioned. He is understood to refute the claims.
The 47-year-old has been temporarily stripped of his title in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, having only been at the post since March last year.
An IPCC spokesman said: “The investigation into the conduct of Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan is continuing.
“The investigation centres on allegations that he abused his senior position by making inappropriate advances to more junior female members of staff over a period of time. The allegations were originally raised by two members of staff.
“More than 40 individuals from Avon and Somerset Constabulary have provided information and intelligence to the IPCC and have been spoken to by our investigators.
“Mr Gargan has been served with a gross misconduct notice and we would anticipate that he will be interviewed by investigators once the information we have gathered has been analysed.”
The complaints were originally logged by Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, who called in the IPCC after being approached by several female members of staff.
Ms Mountstevens said: “I think it is important the Chief Constable is treated no better or worse than any other police officer who is under investigation.
“I would like to assure the communities of Avon and Somerset that the constabulary remains a high-performing force.
“Both police officers and staff are committed to ensuring the area remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”
Ms Mountstevens said Mr Gargan has denied the allegations, but he is yet to speak publicly about the claims.
Deputy Chief Constable John Long has stepped up to take over the top role while the investigation is carried out.