THE chief constable of Wiltshire Police has quit to join another force.

It has been revealed that Mike Veale, who has repeatedly come under fire for his handling of the investigation into Edward Heath, has been confirmed as the new chief constable of Cleveland Police.

In a statement, Mr Veale said: “It has been a very difficult decision to make, after serving here in Wiltshire for 13 years and the wider West Country for almost 34 years.

“However, I feel it is the right time for a new challenge and it is for that reason that I plan to make this move. 

“I would like to publicly thank my officers and staff for their unwavering support for me during my tenure as Wiltshire Police chief constable."

Wiltshire and Swindon police and crime commissioner, Angus Macpherson, congratulated the chief constable on his appointment.

He said: “I would like to state publicly that I thank Mike Veale tremendously for his unwavering commitment to this force."

Cleveland Police will meet on January 23 to confirm the appointment.