A Falmouth policeman who organised a ‘Gangnam Style’ charity video has been suspended.
An allegation of misconduct against one of Devon and Cornwall Police’s most high profile officers can be investigated by the force, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has ruled.
The Western Morning News revealed on Saturday that Sergeant Gary Watts, who hit the headlines in January when he organised a video parody of the song Gangnam Style for charity, had been suspended.
The force has confirmed it is investigating allegations of gross misconduct and misconduct in public office. Details of the complaint have not been made public.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “An officer is being investigated in relation to this matter and has been suspended as a result.
“The matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) by the force. The force’s policy is not to name officers whilst under investigation.
The spokesman continued: “The officer in question has not been charged with any offence and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
A spokesman for the IPCC yesterday said it had “received a referral from Devon and Cornwall Police in connection with a complaint”.
He added: “Following an assessment of the information provided, the matter was deemed suitable for a local investigation by the force”.
Sgt Watts, a neighbourhood team leader for Devon and Cornwall Police in Falmouth, had become well-known for his use of social media.
He had thousands of followers on Twitter and won widespread praise for using technology to promote a positive image of policing.
But having posted some 22,000 tweets and gained 12,100 followers over the past few years, his messages are now “protected”.
His account now says “Only confirmed followers have access to @SgtGaryWatts’ tweets and complete profile.”
It is understood that the complaint does not relate to his use of social media.
Sgt Watts could not be contacted for comment.