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Police chief facing gross misconduct hearing over military service claims

Northamptonshire Police’s suspended chief constable is facing gross misconduct proceedings after allegedly misrepresenting his military service.

The county’s police, fire and crime commissioner, Stephen Mold, said Nick Adderley will now face an accelerated disciplinary hearing following claims he misrepresented his past by wearing a Falklands War campaign medal.

Mr Mold’s office said the decision was taken after the Independent Office for Police Conduct produced a report which concluded there is a case to answer for gross misconduct.

Mr Mold said: “I am grateful to the Independent Office for Police Conduct for the work it has carried out to date into the allegations against Chief Constable Nick Adderley.

“I am now convening an independent panel to consider the allegations.”

The IOPC said it will wait until the end of its criminal investigation before deciding whether to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether crimes were committed.

In a statement, the watchdog said: “We have sent a report relating to disciplinary matters to the police, fire and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire alongside our recommendation that the chief constable’s conduct should be considered at a misconduct hearing, for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour, which could amount to gross misconduct.

“The standards identified are honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.”

The statement added: “Our criminal investigation into allegations that the chief constable of Northamptonshire, Nick Adderley, has misrepresented his military service is ongoing.

“At the end of the investigation, we will decide whether or not to refer a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider any potential offence.”

Mr Mold’s office said the disciplinary hearing, which will be carried out by an independent panel, will be convened at the “earliest possible opportunity”.

Mr Adderley was suspended following the allegations made against him and the force currently has an acting chief constable, Ivan Balhatchet.

In a statement issued last year, Mr Adderley said he had always worn his own medals alongside two medals his brothers gave him to wear when one became critically ill and one moved overseas.

As well as expressing disappointment at what said he were “leaked” details of a “very personal family issue”, the suspended police chief said he had changed the side of his chest on which he wore his brothers’ medals after seeking advice.

Mr Adderley took over as head of the Northamptonshire force in 2018 after joining the police service in 1992 and serving in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire.

He is reported to have been aged 15 during the Falklands War but has been pictured wearing the South Atlantic Medal at numerous events, including an awards ceremony hosted by his force in December 2022.