Police officer under investigation found dead

A senior Wiltshire Police officer who was the subject of a conduct investigation has been found dead at his home.

Deputy Chief Constable David Ainsworth, of Wiltshire Police, was removed from regular duties last September as South Wales Police conducted an external inquiry.

Wiltshire Police said it was not treating the death as suspicious.

Speaking on Tuesday a police spokesman said: "We can confirm that Wiltshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable David Ainsworth was found dead at his home this morning.

"Our thoughts are very much with David's family and friends as they come to terms with the sad news. We are offering them our full support.

"David's death is not being treated as suspicious at this time. The news of David's death is clearly a shock to Wiltshire Police and appropriate support is being offered to staff.

"As a mark of respect the force flag at headquarters is being flown at half mast."

Mr Ainsworth joined the Wiltshire force in 2008 after 22 years with Kent Police. He was the Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) spokesman on vehicle crime.

Acpo president Sir Hugh Orde said the death of Mr Ainsworth, 49, had come "as a shock to the policing community".

"David made a valuable contribution to policing, not just at the force level, but also with his work nationally around vehicle crime and forensic procurement," he said.

"Our thoughts are with his friends, family and colleagues as we digest the news of this tragedy."

In March 2008 chief constable Michael Todd, 50, of Greater Manchester Police, was found dead on Mount Snowdon.

It was later found he was a serial womaniser who had a string of affairs, including with serving female police officers.

He was twice the drink-driving limit when he died, with a coroner ruling he died of exposure, his inquest heard.

In October the same year, detective chief inspector Jim Torbet, 54, hanged himself after being suspended by Sussex Police following his arrest for shoplifting wine from a branch of Marks and Spencer in Shoreham, West Sussex.

He had been a police officer for 28 years and died five years after his daughter Rae was killed by her boyfriend, Dellwyn James, at the age of 19.