Police chief who lied about Falklands War heroics found guilty of gross misconduct

Nick Adderley
Suspended former Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 21/06/2024

- 11:06

Nick Adderley has been dismissed without notice and placed on the police barred list

A Northamptonshire Police officer who lied and exaggerated his naval rank has been dismissed without notice.

A misconduct hearing was told Nick Adderley, suspended chief constable of Northamptonshire Police, “built a military naval legend that wasn’t true."

At the hearing, it was heard that he had implied that he served in the Falklands War, despite being 15 when the conflict broke out in 1982.

The panel, chaired by Callum Cowx, who served in the Royal Navy, the Army and the police, found all allegations against Adderley proven, saying they found "his audacity to be quite staggering", adding that he had lied over many years with "arrogant temerity."

Nick Adderley

Suspended former Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley


The misconduct hearing in Northampton heard Adderley wore a South Atlantic Medal (SAM), awarded to British military personnel and civilians for service in the Falklands conflict, that was deemed "110 per cent" fake by a Ministry of Defence medal expert.

Mr Adderley claimed on his CV and his application form when applying to become chief constable of Northamptonshire Police in 2018 that he had been in the Royal Navy for 10 years when he had served for only two, and had apparently included his service with the Sea Cadets from the age of 10 in that calculation.

He also lied that he had attended the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College for four years, despite his application being rejected, and also lied that he had been a "commander or a lieutenant", as he only achieved the rank of able seaman.

He had claimed that the SAM he had been pictured wearing a number of times since 2012 had been given to him by his brother Richard when he emigrated to Australia.

However, the panel was told on Thursday that Adderley did not embark for The Falklands until July 2 1982, with the hostilities ending around three weeks previously on June 14.


Nick Adderley

Suspended chief constable Nick Adderley


Nick Adderley made a statement, read out by his barrister Matthew Holdcroft, which said: "I am proud of the work and progress made but feel bitterly disappointed in myself that I did not take more care or was more considerate when displaying my own medals alongside those handed to me.

“My ambition was to share and promote the incredible work of armed forces personnel and to proudly speak of the debt of gratitude that we all owe those who serve, and who have served our country, and not to offend or devalue the contributions they have made in defending our freedoms.

"To those veterans I have offended, I apologise unreservedly. Mark Twain once said 'The two most important days in your life are the day you are you born and the day you find out why.'

"For me, I know that I was born to serve others, to protect and to offer reassurance and support to those less able to help themselves.

"My 32 years’ service has allowed me to do just that, and I feel incredibly lucky to have done so, but this has not all been plain sailing; I have made mistakes, I am human, and I am fallible and for those traits and mistakes I must take full responsibility, including the loss of a career that I cherished and lived for every day."

\u200bAdderley with then Home Secretary Suella Braverman

Adderley with then Home Secretary Suella Braverman


Cowx said the panel would not give fully formed reasons for their decisions on Friday, and they would follow in a written report within five days, but agreed the allegations against Adderley amounted to breaches of honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct.

He said: "Mr Adderley has a genuinely fascinating success story to tell. He joined the Royal Navy as a rating, a career was not for him.

"He found his vocation in policing and rose from able seaman to chief constable and that’s an amazing achievement worth telling, but something in Nick Adderley told him that wasn’t enough."

You may like

{% if context.post.roar_specific_data and context.post.roar_specific_data.affiliate_post %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}