Former Police Chief "Has Case To Answer" for Misconduct
17 September 2018, 12:24 | Updated: 17 September 2018, 12:32
The police watchdog says the man who used to be in charge at Wiltshire Police "has a case to answer for alleged misconduct" after his work phone was damaged.
Mike Veale was the Chief Constable at the time of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against the late Prime Minister, Edward Heath.
Mr Veale, who is now the Chief at Cleveland Police, initially said his phone had been dropped in a golf club car park and run over by a vehicle in September 2017. He then told the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation the damage was actually caused when he swung a club at his golf bag in frustration after playing a poor shot.
The IOPC has found there is a case to answer for misconduct after giving an inaccurate account of how his phone got broken. However, it did not find any evidence that this damage had been caused deliberately or with the motive to conceal any information.
IOPC director Catrin Evans, who oversaw the investigation, said: "The evidence gathered points to Chief Constable Veale damaging his mobile phone entirely by accident. He then arranged for all data from the damaged phone to be retrieved, and we found no evidence to suggest he was motivated to conceal information. Mr Veale volunteered to our investigators that he was embarrassed by his behaviour over a momentary loss of self-control on the golf course, at a time of personal and professional stress. However, chief constables are expected to promote ethical values, lead by personal example and act as ambassadors for the standards of professional behaviour. That Mr Veale chose to give a different account to the truth, both verbally and in writing on several occasions and for some time, in our view amounted to a case to answer for misconduct relating to honesty and integrity."