One of Britain's senior-most Indian-origin female officers has been placed of restricted duties as Scotland Yard investigates allegations that she broke the rules on being nominated for a royal honour.
Parm Sandhu, currently serving as Temporary Chief Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, has been served with a "gross misconduct" investigation notice and could potentially face a serious disciplinary charge.
"The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) is investigating the conduct of three officers following an allegation that they breached guidelines relating to the UK honours nomination process, a Met Police statement said.
The two other officers a detective superintendent and an inspector, both from frontline policing were also served with misconduct notices on June 27 but they remain on full duties while enquiries continue, the force added.
According to the BBC, the inquiry is focusing on whether Sandhu encouraged her colleagues to support her nomination for a Queen's Police Medal (QPM), which is awarded twice a year by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her honours' lists.
The medals are given to serving police officers in the UK in recognition of distinguished service or outstanding courage in the line of duty.
National Police Chief Council guidelines say that "any person can nominate any other person for an honour". However, as with other honours, people are not expected to nominate themselves and are not meant to contribute to or know about the process.
The internal Met investigation is examining an allegation that Sandhu may have contacted other officers with a summary of information to support her QPM nomination. The inquiry is at an early stage and no disciplinary action has been taken so far.
Sandhu, who joined the police service in 1989, rose through the ranks to become borough commander in Richmond-upon-Thames. She is one of the most senior ethnic minority female officers in the Met Police and in 2006 received an Asian Women of Achievement Award.
Last month, she had tweeted that she will be promoted to Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, adding: "I will be the first woman of colour to hold this rank."
She is being supported through the ongoing investigation by representatives of the Police Superintendents' Association.
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