Northamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley remains suspended amid ongoing gross misconduct investigation
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An acting chief constable for Northamptonshire Police as chief Nick Adderley remains suspended under investigation for ‘gross misconduct’.
Ivan Balhatchet, deputy chief constable at the time of Mr Adderley’s suspension in October, was asked to step up to the position temporarily.
The change comes after Adderley received a public complaint over wearing a medal awarded to Falklands war veterans, despite only being 15 at the time. He said that it was his brother’s medal – however, he was wearing the honour on the wrong side of his chest.
This led to a probe into his career background from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and a criminal investigation into the allegations of misrepresenting his military service.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said at a police, fire and crime panel held on Thursday (November 30): “These are quite unprecedented times in Northamptonshire and it is vital that we ensure there is continuity and leadership for the force.
“I am not willing to put at risk the improvement to the force that we have delivered as the challenges of policing as an ever growing county will only get more difficult for us in the future.”
Acting chief Mr Balhatchet joined Northamptonshire Police in 2000 and carried out a variety of roles in the force. He was later appointed as the Metropolitan Police’s commander for intelligence and covert policing in 2016 before returning to Northamptonshire in 2022.
Due to legislation relating to the appointment of an acting chief constable - whereby the police chief is absent, incapacitated or suspended - Mr Balhatchet was not subject to a confirmation hearing prior to his temporary position.
Councillor Zoe McGhee, Labour, said: “It makes perfect sense to appoint someone as the new chief officer who has worked their way through the police force, is a member of the police force, and knows how the police force runs. I would like to see that decision echoed throughout.”
Her comments come after controversy with the appointment of an interim fire chief, Nicci Marzec, who stepped down after ten days due to scrutiny of her operational experience and relationship with Mr Mold. A letter from the PFCC regarding the decision was presented at the meeting. It said: “I regret the process I followed in the summer and with hindsight, I should have engaged with the Panel at a much earlier stage”.
A number of actions the commissioner will take, such as reviewing the code of conduct and providing a definition of ‘close personal relationships’, were listed. Cllr McGhee, who walked out of the last panel meeting over the same matter, said there was no other job where “you can make mistakes like that, write a four-page letter and then it’s all done and dusted”.
Mr Mold said that he could not comment on the ongoing IOPC investigation of Mr Adderley, but said that the force is “applying as much as appropriate pressure” to ensure the enquiries are completed swiftly.
The suspended chief constable will receive full pay throughout the entirety of his investigation - his yearly salary amounts to £165,000. There was no indication of how long the suspension may last. It was confirmed that the police force budget has “sufficient contingency” to continue paying Adderley throughout this period.