HAMPSHIRE’S chief constable has been cleared of any wrongdoing following misconduct allegations.

Andy Marsh was investigated by Essex Police after complaints about his handling of an investigation into sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey.

During the investigation, Andover county councillor Tony Hooke called for Mr Marsh to be suspended.

On Monday, the Operation Oregon investigation found that there were no grounds to justify serving misconduct allegations against the chief constable.

Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said: “I can confirm that I have received written confirmation from Essex Police’s Chief Constable Steve Kavanagh, the senior investigating officer on Operation Oregon, that Essex Police has concluded that there is no evidence of wrongdoing 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.”

Mr 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.”