Northamptonshire’s police chief is being investigated after being accused of wearing a Falklands War combat service medal – even though he was 15 at the time.
Nick Adderley joined the police service in 1982 following a 10-year career in the Royal Navy, serving as both a cadet and in the regular service.
It is alleged he sported the South Atlantic Medal, awarded to British military personnel and civilians for service in the 1982 conflict between the UK and Argentina.
The 57-year-old is accused of wearing it at several events, misrepresenting his military service.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation following a complaint.
The police watchdog said in a statement: “We can confirm following assessment of a referral from the Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire we have begun an investigation into allegations against the Chief Constable.
“The allegations relate to concerns about potential misrepresentation of his military service and communications with the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner. Our enquiries are at an early stage.”
Police Oracle, a police news website, also has an interview with Mr Adderley where he is described as having served in the Falklands.
Mr Adderley said in a statement: “I have been made aware of a complaint in general terms but have not had any notices served upon me by the IOPC.
“It is disappointing that someone has leaked such details about what I deem to be a very personal family issue, that I have yet to respond to formally.
“Consequently, I am restricted in what I can say but I have always been keen to respond to such issues directly and openly. Hence it is important that I state for the public record that I am very proud of my Cadet, Royal Navy and Police Service.
“Coming from a military family, I wear all my medals with pride and have always worn the two medals my brothers gave me to wear when one became critically ill and one emigrated, alongside my own.
“Having been made aware of this complaint, which has a private family impact upon me personally, I immediately took advice last week regarding the protocol and have changed the side of my chest on which these medals are worn.
“I look forward to providing the IOPC with a fulsome response at the earliest opportunity and I fully appreciate that they have a job to do,” he added.
During his 30-year policing career, Mr Adderley has served with Cheshire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, Staffordshire Police – before being appointed Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable in August 2018.
It is not the first time Mr Adderley has courted controversy.
In April 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic, he threatened roadblocks and to search people’s shopping trolleys if members of the public did not adhere to government guidelines designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.