Chief Constable Nick Adderley dismissed without notice for gross misconduct

Northamptonshire Police says it will work hard to rebuild public trust and confidence after the dismissal of Chief Constable Nick Adderley, who has been found to have committed gross misconduct.

Jun 21, 2024
By Paul Jacques
Nick Adderley

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had found a “pattern of sustained misbehaviour” where Mr Adderley perpetuated a “false narrative around his military service”.

An independent panel ruled on Friday (June 21) that Mr Adderley had breached the standards of honesty and integrity and should be dismissed without notice and placed on the policing barred list.

Mr Adderley now has ten days should he wish to appeal.

Northamptonshire police, fire and crime commissioner Danielle Stone and Acting Chief Constable Ivan Balhatchet said that while this “unprecedented situation” put Northamptonshire Police in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, they share a determination to move the force forward.

Ms Stone said: “I respect the panel’s decision and am grateful for their work on this challenging case, I wish it could have been dealt with more quickly for the sake of everyone involved, but the proper process had to be allowed to take its course. I accept the panel’s decision that dismissal is the right sanction in this case.

“This case has put Northamptonshire Police in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. We now need to set out to restore a reputation for honesty and integrity, which are fundamental values.

“Police officers are held to very high standards and the expectation of police leaders is even higher – it is their duty to set the tone for the rest of the organisation.

“Failing to uphold these standards is incredibly serious and damaging to public confidence in our police officers who do excellent work, day after day, to keep the public safe.

“We will now work hard to rebuild that reputation for honesty and integrity and earn the confidence of the public.”

She added: “Acting Chief Constable Ivan Balhatchet and his team have done a fantastic job in leading the force through a period of uncertainty and I will work with them to engage with communities and build public confidence and trust in their police.”

Mr Balhatchet said: “My focus is squarely on leading a force that earns the trust of the people it serves.

“I am absolutely determined to make sure our officers and staff live up to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. There is no place in policing for anything less.

“The unprecedented nature of what has happened today should not reflect on the dedication and commitment shown by Northamptonshire Police officers and staff.

“No police officer is above independent scrutiny of their actions and when someone falls short of the standards expected of them, they will be accountable.

“Policing is a challenging role and Northamptonshire Police is full of people who have dedicated themselves to keeping the public safe. I am determined to lead a force that meets those challenges properly and fairly.”

Donna Jones, chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), said she welcomed the decision.

“The integrity and honesty of chief constables must be absolutely without question. They should set the highest of standards for all who work in policing,” said Ms Jones.

“The dismissal of Nick Adderley as chief constable for Northamptonshire and barring him from ever working in a British police force again are decisions which, as chair of the APCC, I welcome.

“When a police career has been built on lies from the start, including lies in your CV about the length of your military career and the wars in which you have served, it is deeply offensive to those who have so bravely served in those conflicts.

“Thank you to those who had the courage to come forward and report this wrongful behaviour, and to those involved in the investigation.

“It is only by speaking out that we can ensure that British policing is, and remains, the most envied and respected police force in the world.”

IOPC regional director Emily Barry said: “Public confidence in policing needs chief constables to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct and set an example to their colleagues. The panel’s findings show that Mr Adderley’s conduct had fallen well below the professional standards of any police officer, never mind a chief constable.

“We carefully investigated a range of allegations against the chief constable of misrepresentation of his past naval service and in January recommended that he should face gross misconduct proceedings. We compiled the substantive and significant evidence which has informed the disciplinary hearing.

“That evidence demonstrated a pattern of sustained misbehaviour where Mr Adderley perpetuated a false narrative around his military service.”

Among the evidence presented, it was asserted that:

• In his application in 2018 to become chief constable of Northamptonshire, Mr Adderley made several false claims concerning his service in the Royal Navy;

• That Mr Adderley had been photographed wearing an apparent South Atlantic Medal giving the false impression he had served in the Falklands, when he knew that to be untrue;

• That he failed to correct inaccurate media reporting of his record with the Royal Navy, a narrative in part based on Northamptonshire Police news releases; and

• That he gave false information in a phone conversation with a senior member of staff at the Office for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner of Northamptonshire concerning his naval service.

“Based on this evidence, the panel found breaches of honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct leading to his dismissal at the end of these proceedings,” said the IOPC.

“In April we referred an evidential file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for them to consider any potential criminal charge. A referral to the CPS does not mean that any charge will necessarily follow.”

The IOPC’s criminal and misconduct investigations followed a referral from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire.

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