The former Falmouth police officer sacked for gross misconduct was not fired over his "charity work or his social media activities".

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said that following allegations of a significant breach of trust and the failure in his duties as a police sergeant, Mr Watts was initially placed on restricted duties and then suspended.

Adding: "This led to a gross misconduct board, which sat this week, where the allegations were found to be proved and as a result he was dismissed from Devon and Cornwall Police with immediate effect."

The force said that Mr Watts was known for his charity work which gained national attention and he was well known for his engagement with the public using social media and that some media reporting has suggested this was the reason for his dismissal.

However the force has clearly stated: "The allegations were not related to his charity work or his social media activities.

Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “Devon and Cornwall Police fully support the very many officers and staff who become involved in activities that raise money and awareness for a large number of charitable good causes. In this regard, I recognise the contribution Mr Watts made as a neighbourhood team leader in the community of Falmouth and his nationally recognised charity work.

"The public rightly expect the highest standards of behaviour from those in the position of police officer and we will act firmly and fairly with those who fail to meet those standards.”