MIKE Veale, who has been chief constable of Wiltshire Police for more than two years, is set to quit the force.

Today Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger proposed that Mr Veale be appointed as the next chief constable of Cleveland succeeding Iain Spittal who retired earlier this month.

Mr Veale began his policing career as a police cadet before joining Avon and Somerset Constabulary as a constable in 1984. He joined Wiltshire Police as a detective superintendent and was promoted to detective chief superintendent as head of CID.

He was appointed deputy chief constable in 2013 and took up post as chief constable on June, 1 2015.

His contract was due to expire in the summer but it wasn’t renewed despite several Wiltshire MPs writing to PCC Angus Macpherson urging that is should be.

Mr Coppinger’s proposal will now go before the Cleveland Police and Crime Panel which meets on January 23 to decide whether to confirm the appointment.

Mr Coppinger chaired the interview panel for the post and also received feedback from a panel of key stakeholders who also interviewed the candidates.

He said: “It is frequently the case that chief constable roles attract only one eligible candidate so I am delighted that we have been able to shortlist two excellent applicants. It demonstrates how highly Cleveland Police is regarded within policing circles.

“Both shortlisted candidates have extensive and distinguished policing careers, including experience at the highest level. Both interviews were of an exceptional standard, the applicants came over as inspiring leaders, dedicated to policing and protecting the public.

“The process of appointment now requires me to put forward a preferred candidate to the Police and Crime Panel for their consideration. After consultation with fellow members on the interview panel; feedback from the stakeholder panel; and much careful reflection, I have decided to propose Mike Veale as my preferred candidate.

“Mike has enjoyed a distinguished policing career with extensive experience as a chief police officer including several years in the rank of chief constable.

“He has faced extremely difficult and complex policing challenges and has never shied away from taking tough decisions in the best interests of justice.”

Mr Macpherson does not intend to comment until the Police and Crime Panel has announced its decision.

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