Surrey Police's deputy chief constable has left the force after allegation he "conducted an innappropriate relationship" that "tarnished the reputation" of the county police force, prompting a misconduct investigation.

On Monday (February 17) Surrey Police announced that former Deputy Chief Constable Deputy Jeremy Burton had retired after "a voluntary referral made by the Force to the IOPC in the summer of last year in relation to two officers."

His decision to retire after the referral means that its contents will not be brought to light and that Burton won't stand trial.

Nonetheless high-ranking former colleagues said he had "let our communities down" and suggested he "failed to behave appropriately" in the workplace.

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: “In my view, Mr Burton’s behaviour fell short of the standards that are expected of a police officer and as a Chief Officer.

"I am disappointed that he let himself, his colleagues and our communities down.

"This has been a difficult case, and I am satisfied that this is a proportionate outcome, recognising the severity level, and that Mr Burton will no longer be serving as a police officer, which brings an end to what has otherwise been a distinguished 31 year career.

“In taking our policing oath we commit to uphold a code of ethics and high standards of professional behaviour, in order to maintain public confidence in policing.

"The excellent work of our professional standards team and the IOPC, has ensured that those that fail to behave appropriately in the workplace, regardless of rank, will be held to account in a fair way, against those high standards.

Stephens added that he hoped the news would not "detract" from the "excellent work done by officers, staff and volunteers" on behalf of Surrey Police every day.

Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said that Burton had "tarnished" the reputation of the force and that the county's public "deserve better".

"I have been kept updated on developments by the Chief Constable over recent months and I share his disappointment that Mr Burton’s behaviour has unfortunately tarnished the reputation of the many hard-working officers and staff within Surrey Police," Munro said.

“The Force’s Professional Standards team acted swiftly in initiating the investigation into this matter which has been independently led by the IOPC to ensure complete transparency.

"Ultimately we have the right outcome and I fully support his view that had Mr Burton not stepped down, his resignation or retirement would have rightly been required.

"The public of Surrey deserve better and I’m confident the Chief Constable can re-establish his top team to build on the good work happening across the Force to keep Surrey safe," he added.

Surrey Police said the other officer involved received a final written warning after admitting to two conduct matters at a private meeting held on Friday February 14.

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: 

"Following a five-month investigation, the IOPC concluded our inquiries in November 2019 into allegations two Surrey Police officers conducted an inappropriate relationship which allegedly breached standards of professional behaviour including duties and responsibilities, and conduct."