‘The police chief who led the sexual abuse investigation into the late former prime minister Sir Edward Heath has resigned following “serious allegations” about his behaviour.
Mike Veale, the chief constable of Cleveland police, had been under pressure since a police watchdog investigation found in September that he had lied about a smashed mobile phone.
But on Monday, Barry Coppinger, the Cleveland police and crime commissioner, said he had been made aware of allegations of a “serious nature” that had been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Coppinger gave no more detail on the allegations, but said Veale had resigned with immediate effect on Friday.
His resignation came months after Veale apologised after the IOPC found he had lied about how he had broken his work phone.
Veale told colleagues he had smashed the device when he dropped it in a car park and it was run over. But an investigation discovered he had destroyed the phone when he played a poor shot during a round of golf and hit his bag with a club in frustration.
The IOPC investigation was launched after anonymous claims – later found not proven – that he had smashed his police-issue phone to hide contacts with “various parties” during the Heath inquiry.
The IOPC concluded Veale had a case to answer for misconduct for providing an inaccurate account of the incident, but Coppinger chose to resolve the case with “management action”.
However, the incident cast a shadow over Veale’s time at Cleveland police, which appointed him as chief constable in March 2018 while the IOPC investigation was continuing.’