A senior police officer has been suspended amid allegations that he sent an "offensive" text message, it has been disclosed.
Chief Inspector Mark Ling, of Sussex Police, was told on Tuesday that a misconduct investigation would be launched into the claims, sources said.
Details about the text message and who it was sent to have not been disclosed but the force said the decision to suspend the officer was not taken lightly.
Mr Ling has been the district commander of his home town of Hastings, East Sussex, since 2008 - a resort which has seen crime reach a seven-year low.
Sussex Police confirmed the officer was a chief inspector based in its East Sussex division but that it would not be naming the officer and that no further details of the internal inquiry would be issued.
A police spokesman said: "This was not a decision taken lightly, but the nature of the allegation - the sending of an offensive text message - was such that it was felt that the force needed to take immediate action pending an investigation.
"It should be stressed that the allegations are yet to be fully investigated and the suspension reflects only the force's view of the seriousness of an allegation of this nature."