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Former chief constable to face gross misconduct proceedings

·2-min read

The former chief constable of Cleveland Police is to face gross misconduct proceedings, the police watchdog has said.

Mike Veale, who led a controversial inquiry into sexual allegations against the late prime minister Sir Edward Heath when he was in charge of Wiltshire Police, is accused of breaching “standards of professional behaviour” during his time at the northern force.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had carried out investigations into allegations from the second half of 2018, before Mr Veale stepped down from Cleveland Police in 2019.

Since then he has acted as an advisor to Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The IOPC said it had passed on its findings to the Cleveland PCC in February.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: “We found that there was sufficient evidence to indicate that Mr Veale had breached the standards of professional behaviour.

“Following discussion, we have accepted the then PCC’s determinations that Mr Veale should face proceedings for gross misconduct.

“The allegations relate to conduct between July and December 2018 when serving as chief constable.

“It will be for the PCC to formulate the nature of the misconduct charges, based on our findings, and to bring those proceedings to a future misconduct hearing.

“All concerned parties have been notified.”

In 2019 the IOPC said it was investigating Mr Veale for “alleged inappropriate behaviour towards colleagues, discrimination, and unprofessional behaviour”.

Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “The matter will shortly be referred to an independent panel, chaired by an independent lawyer, to hold a misconduct hearing to consider the evidence, make appropriate findings and determine any appropriate outcome.”

Depending on the outcome, Mr Veale could be barred from serving as a police officer again.

Rupert Matthews, PCC for Leicestershire, said Mr Veale was on a six-month contract to work for him, starting from his election win in May.

He added: “Mr Veale has been transparent with me about the investigation he is currently under and the forthcoming public hearing.

“It is important to note that he is currently not in breach of any misconduct regulations.

“The investigation process is ongoing, and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment on anything in relation to that at this time.”

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