Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan will not face criminal inquiry

Chief Constable Nick Gargan Nick Gargan began as chief constable in March 2013

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A police chief facing allegations of gross misconduct has been told he will not face a criminal inquiry following his suspension from duty.

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan was suspended in May after allegations he made "inappropriate advances" to female members of staff.

In his first public comments since his suspension, Mr Gargan added that he had still not seen the detail of any accusations against him.

Mr Gargan denies any wrong-doing.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) previously said the investigation centred on allegations Mr Gargan abused his senior position by making inappropriate advances to more junior female members of staff.

'Information and intelligence'

A statement issued by the Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) on his behalf said Mr Gargan was aware the IPCC planned to interview him.

It added: "The only further contact he has had from the Independent Police Complaints Commission since his suspension on May 13 has been an updated notice of investigation.

"The effect of this notice was to clarify that the behaviour under investigation is not as serious as originally thought in as much as this is no longer being investigated as a criminal matter."

The statement said Mr Gargan "welcomes this downgrading" and "looks forward to the opportunity to hear the allegations and help advance the investigation through an interview".

The IPCC said "information and intelligence" was still being gathered and more than 50 people had been interviewed by investigators.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mounstevens commented: "The IPCC have informed me that they are no longer looking at criminal charges against the chief constable and the investigation continues."

Mr Gargan has led the Avon and Somerset force since March 2013 and has been a serving police officer since 1988.

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