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10 June 2014, 08:55
An independent investigation's cleared Hampshire Police's Chief Constable of any wrongdoing, after complaints about his handling of sex abuse claims at a school.
Essex Police have confirmed in writing to Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes that the Operation Oregon investigation has found there are no grounds to justify serving misconduct allegations against Andy Marsh.
Mr Hayes commissioned Essex Police to investigate a number of complaints made to him about Mr Marsh and his handling of an investigation into sex assault claims at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey. No charges were ever brought over the accusations.
Simon Hayes said:
“I can confirm that I have today received written confirmation from Essex Police’s Chief Constable Steve Kavanagh, the Senior Investigating Officer on Operation Oregon, that the final investigation report into Operation Oregon is being finalised. Essex Police has concluded that there is no evidence of wrong doing by Chief Constable Andy Marsh. All complaints against the Chief Constable have not been upheld.
“In his letter, Chief Constable Kavanagh confirmed that Hampshire Constabulary provided full co-operation to the Operation Oregon team and that Chief Constable Marsh gave the investigation his full support, and provided a full, detailed and helpful account, which he was under no obligation to do.
“Having previously stated my absolute confidence in Chief Constable Marsh, I welcome this news and look forward to receiving the final report.”
In a statement, Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:
"I welcome the outcome of the investigation, and I would like to thank everybody for their support over the recent months.
"Effective policing requires high public confidence across our communities. This trust helps police to protect vulnerable people and to create a hostile environment for the most serious criminals.
"Confidence in policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is not just at an all time high, the independent crime survey consistently shows it to be considerably higher than in other parts of the country.
"That is because trust is built by the actions of thousands of dedicated police officers and staff who do not make the headlines, but serve the public every hour of every day.
"I am very proud to lead such an inspiring group of people and to have the privilege of receiving hundreds of emails and letters of thanks from the public, underlining the outstanding work that is done."