An assistant chief fire officer has been suspended from his role after 'serious allegations' were made against him.

The Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) senior staff member was temporarily removed from his role on Wednesday, November 17.

In an internal email, Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell told staff Byron Standen was banned from visiting work premises or communicating with employees during his suspension.

"The suspension is a precautionary measure to protect all staff, including ACFO Standen, whilst a full and thorough investigation takes place", he wrote.

Adding: "ACFO Standen has been advised that, under the terms of his suspension, he should not attend any DWFRS workplace or make contact with any member of staff other than his Contact Officer, ACFO Andy Cole.

"Similarly, all members of staff are advised they should not make contact with ACFO Standen."

Affected staff have been asked to make direct contact with South West Councils, the organisation responsible for undertaking an independent investigation into the allegations.

A spokesperson for the service said: "DWFRS can confirm that, as a result of serious allegations, a senior member of staff has been suspended.

"This suspension is a precautionary measure, whilst an independent external investigation takes place.

"It would not be appropriate at this stage to comment any further.

"DWFRS take the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce extremely seriously and we are supporting all those involved in the investigation process."