Police chief Nick Gargan is guilty of misconduct and has been ordered to resign by the police and crime commissioner.
- Police chief Nick Gargan is guilty of a string of misconduct charges, including storing intimate images on his police mobile phone.
Police chief Nick Gargan will be the second police chief for Avon and Somerset to be forced out in three years by the same elected police and crime commissioner.
Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens announced that she would force Mr Gargan to resign or retire because he had abused his position and let down his colleagues. It recommended a sanction of eight final written warnings but Ms Mountstevens has been petitioned by retired officers and Mr Gargan’s three predecessors as chief constable, who said he should go for the good of the force.
On Wednesday, Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Chief Constable Nick Gargan has let down the colleagues he led and the communities he was there to protect.”
“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.” She said he should have “led by example” but had instead “shown flawed judgement” and been found guilty of eight counts of misconduct “including two of discreditable conduct”. she added. “From what I have seen and heard, he has lost the confidence of local people, police officers and staff.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens began the process to require the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police to leave his post.
Nick Gargan is a police officer in the United Kingdom. He is currently the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Gargan joined the Leicestershire Police in 1988 under the Graduate Entry Scheme. In the 1990s was seconded to Interpol and the British embassy in Paris, where he worked on the investigation into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1995 he was seconded to the National Criminal Intelligence Service. He returned to Leicestershire in 1998, and became a Chief Superintendent before transferring to the Thames Valley Police in 2006.
Gargan was appointed as Chief Constable of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary in March 2013, by the Police and Crime Commissioner for the force, Sue Mountstevens. His appointment followed the decision of the previous Chief Constable, Colin Port, to retire, rather than go through a competitive process of reappointment, which had been required by Ms Mountstevens.
Since his appointment, Gargan has been an advocate of direct entry into the senior ranks of the police. This policy has been opposed by Police Federation of England and Wales but advocated by the UK Home Office.
In mid-May 2014, he was suspended by Commissioner Mountstevens following allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour towards female officers and staff’. The enquiry into the allegations was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Gargan is reported by the Commissioner to have denied the allegations. During the period of Gargan’s suspension, the force will be run by the Deputy Chief Constable, John Long.
On 9th July 2015 Gargan was found guilty of eight counts of misconduct, and his suspension was therefore lifted, however he has not yet returned to work with Avon and Somerset Constabulary. The Police Federation of England and Wales issued a statement questioning whether the public could have “confidence in his leadership” following the findings of the misconduct case. A petition has been set up campaigning for his resignation.IMAGE/Andrew Parsons/PA