TWO senior Gwent Police officers have been suspended following allegations of a sexual assault on a woman in Cardiff.

One suspension is over the alleged assault, while the other is over an allegation of misconduct in public office.

It is not yet clear what each man has been accused of.

The South Wales Argus has learned that Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Marc Budden and Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender have been relieved of their duties while an investigation is carried out.

It’s understood the alleged assault happened at the retirement party of Gwent Police's former chief constable, Julian Williams.

Avon and Somerset Police have been called in to investigate because of the seniority of the officers involved.

Marc Budden joined the force in 1993, and was in charge of neighbourhood policing, partnerships and uniform operations before rising to the role of temporary assistant chief constable - according to the Gwent Police website.

South Wales Argus:

(Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Marc Budden)

Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender joined the force in 1996, and is the head of the criminal investigation department (CID).

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed an investigation is being carried out .

The alleged incident is said to have happened on June 28.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We’re carrying out an investigation into an allegation of the sexual assault of a woman in Cardiff on 28 June 2019 made against a serving officer at Gwent Police.

"The officer has been suspended while this investigation is carried out.

"Alongside this, a second serving Gwent police officer has been suspended while our Professional Standards Department investigate an allegation of misconduct in public office.

"Both are senior officers.

"The investigations are being managed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). We’re unable to go into any further details at this stage."

South Wales Argus:

(Chief Superintendent Mark Warrender)


Assistant Chief Constable of Gwent Police Rhiannon Kirk, said: “Avon and Somerset Police are carrying out an independent investigation into an allegation of a criminal offence against a serving officer at Gwent Police, as well as an investigation into allegations of misconduct against other serving officers."

She added: “As a result, two people have been suspended while enquiries continue. We’re unable to comment further at this stage.”

Former Chief Constable of Gwent Police Julian Williams spent 30 years in the police service, including 25 years with South Wales Police.

Following the announcement of his retirement in April, Mr Williams said: "It has been a huge privilege to work in Gwent Police for the last five years and a real honour to be the Chief Constable of the force for two years.

"I have always been impressed by the commitment, energy and professionalism displayed by my colleagues in the force, who despite very challenging circumstances, always strive to put the public first in everything they do.”