Sussex Police chief constable Martin Richards is being investigated by the the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over an allegation that "he may have used undue influence in relation to an operational policing issue."
In a statement today, Mr Richards said: "Given the senior position I hold and the trust placed in me by the people of Sussex and my colleagues, it is absolutely right that the Sussex Police Authority has voluntarily referred this matter to the IPCC for independent scrutiny. I will cooperate fully with the investigation to help them establish the facts."
The Police authority has issued this statement:
"Last month, Sussex Police Authority voluntarily referred an allegation of misconduct against Sussex Police Chief Constable Martin Richards to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is now carrying out an independent investigation.
Sussex Police Authority carefully considered the allegation of misconduct through its Professional Standards Committee and in light of the seniority of the person subject to the allegation made the decision to voluntarily refer the matter to the IPCC for independent investigation.
The decision, by the Authority, to refer the allegation is a neutral act and does not reflect any assumption of wrong-doing. While the investigation is underway and until the facts are established, there should be no assumption of impropriety or speculation on the outcome of the investigation.
The chairman of the Professional Standards Committee, Dr Gordon Bull, said: "Trust in the integrity of the police is essential and is of ongoing legitimate public interest. Given the seniority of the officer subject to this allegation it is absolutely right that the Police Authority has voluntarily referred the matter to the IPCC for independent scrutiny."
Sussex Police Authority and Sussex Police strongly support transparency and public scrutiny, announcing involvement in IPCC investigations proactively whenever possible. However, due to the risk of a potential impact on an ongoing operational matter, could not do so in this case."