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Chief constable who lied about naval career dismissed for gross misconduct

Adderley cast doubts about his credentials by wearing a medal for the Falklands War

A chief constable of Northamptonshire Police who lied and exaggerated his naval rank, length of service and achievements has been dismissed for gross misconduct.

A gross misconduct hearing upheld allegations that Nick Adderley falsely claimed he had reached the rank of lieutenant in the military, and that he was a military negotiator in Haiti in the 1980s.

Hiring an individual with falsified credentials can have serious consequences for a business’ reputation, as well as any work the employee is responsible for, said Martin Warding, business director of recruitment firm Kingdom People.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Among many things, [hiring someone with false credentials] can lead to reputational damage. In this case, the integrity of the entire police force has been called into question.

“As well as this, an under-qualified employee may not perform to expected standards, which could lead to poor decision-making and operational failures. In leadership roles this is even more critical, as decisions made can impact many other people.

“There could also be legal consequences, just like the fallout from the chief constable’s misconduct, although this depends on the industry and role.”

Read more: Hundreds of NHS nurses suspected of faking qualifications

Adderley was photographed wearing a Falklands war medal, a medal he has worn on his uniform since 2009. Adderley was 15 at the time of the conflict.

The misconduct hearing heard that he "built a military naval legend that wasn't true" and lied over many years to people in the police force.

Employers must put firm processes in place to verify experience and qualifications during recruitment, said Larraine Boorman, chief executive of recruitment agency Optima UK.

She said: “Employers should verify qualifications and check references, as ultimately the employer is responsible for the credibility and capability of the new employee.

“As a recruitment agency, we check for things like the right to work and candidates’ references but it is incumbent on the employer who takes them on to satisfy themselves that the person is right for the job, credible, and has the right credentials.

“Employers should check, check and check – everything from qualifications to employment history and references.”

Read more: False references: How concerned should employers be?

Warding added that employers should deal with reports that employees have falsified their credentials quickly and carefully.

He said:When an employer receives reports that an employee may have falsified their credentials, it is essential to handle the situation with care and confidentiality. They should initiate an immediate and thorough investigation to determine the validity of the claims, much like the investigation that led to the dismissal of the chief constable. They should adhere to the company's disciplinary policies and procedures, ensuring a fair and unbiased approach.

“It might also be helpful to consult with legal professionals to understand the implications and the best course of action.

“Most of all, employers should communicate transparently with relevant stakeholders while maintaining confidentiality during the investigation.”