The 'Walter Mitty police chief': £165k-a-year chief constable 'misled people into thinking he fought in the Falklands War by wearing a combat service medal despite being a 15-year-old cadet at the time of the conflict' – and now faces dismissal amid probe

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  • Northamptonshire Police’s top cop Nick Adderley is accused of stolen valour 

A police chief on a £165,000-a-year contract has been accused of misleading people into thinking he fought in the Falklands war after he was reportedly spotted wearing a combat service medal – despite only being a 15-year-old cadet at the time.

Nick Adderly, 57, is now being investigated by the police watchdog after it received a tip-off that the chief constable was repeatedly wearing the South Atlantic Medal.

Video footage showed the Northamptonshire police boss flaunting the medal which was gifted to British military personnel who served in the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina. 

He is said to have worn it at a string of events including the Police Bravery Awards in July.

The police chief is understood to have enlisted in the Navy in 1984 – two years after the conflict concluded – at the age of 18 after a spell in the cadets from the age of 15. 

He is now facing accusations of ‘stolen valour’ which could lead to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launching a gross misconduct board and potential dismissal.

Northamptonshire Police's top cop Nick Adderley (pictured) is accused of stolen valour

Northamptonshire Police’s top cop Nick Adderley (pictured) is accused of stolen valour

The South Atlantic Medal was only given to soldiers who fought in the Falklands War

The South Atlantic Medal was only given to soldiers who fought in the Falklands War 

A Northamptonshire Police press release from July said he served ‘in the Navy for ten years including the Falklands’ according to The Sun, though this has since been removed. 

The IOPC reportedly launched its probe after receiving a tip-off from the local Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner.

Rear Admiral Doctor Chris Parry, who fought in the Falklands War, helping sink an enemy submarine, asked: ‘If a person lies about their medals what else would they lie about?’ 

The watchdog is looking into allegations of potential misrepresentation of his military service, as well as communications with the commissioner. 

But Adderley said he was ‘very proud of his Cadet, Royal Navy and Police Service’, adding he also wears medals awarded to his brothers with no further clarification. 

‘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.

Video footage showed the Northamptonshire police chief flaunting the medal which was gifted to British military personnel who served in the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina, including the Police Bravery Awards in July

Video footage showed the Northamptonshire police chief flaunting the medal which was gifted to British military personnel who served in the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina, including the Police Bravery Awards in July

British soldiers in the Falklands Conflict in June 1982

British soldiers in the Falklands Conflict in June 1982 

‘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.’

The top cop has also been seen wearing several other medals, including the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. 

‘Stolen Valour’ is the term commonly applied to the act of wearing military medals or decorations that have not been earned with the intent to deceive. 

It is not an offence in the UK for individuals to wear medals or decorations that they were not awarded – but it is an offence to wear a military medal without permission, according to the UK Parliament’s briefing on Stolen Valour.

MailOnline has contacted Northamptonshire Police and the IOPC for comment.  




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