Gross misconduct of former chief constable ‘so serious’ he would have been dismissed, says PCC
Cleveland’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said that “anything short of dismissal” of former chief constable Mike Veale for sexualised conduct would have sent the wrong message to the public.
Steve Turner said the gross misconduct in question was so serious that “the only appropriate sanction is for disciplinary action to be imposed in relation to it”, and had Mr Veale been serving he would have been dismissed.
The former Cleveland Police chief constable was alleged to have made “unwanted remarks of a sexual nature” to a colleague. The remarks date back to October and December 2018.
In June a disciplinary panel ruled his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct. He will now be added to the College of Policing barred list.
Mr Veale stepped down from Cleveland Police in 2019 after ten months as chief constable, during which time he was accused of inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour towards staff.
In December 2022 he was given the interim job of chief executive officer for the PCC for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, but left after just two months.
In a statement issued on Monday (July 31), Mr Turner said: “Following a misconduct hearing in June, I have today considered the panel’s recommendation. I have found that the gross misconduct in question was so serious that the only appropriate sanction is for disciplinary action to be imposed.
“Had Mr Veale still been a serving officer, he would have been dismissed. Anything short of dismissal of a chief constable for sexualised conduct toward a less senior officer would send a message to the public and to police officers that such conduct is not taken seriously in the police. It very much is taken seriously.
“I recognise that the investigation into Mr Veale’s conduct and the subsequent proceedings have taken longer than anticipated, and longer than anyone would have wanted, to come to a resolution. I thank all involved for their patience and cooperation.
“I will continue to work closely with the chief constable to ensure standards of professional behaviour are upheld and public confidence in Cleveland Police is maintained.”