THE chief constable of Wiltshire Police is set to leave the force after accepting another top job in the North East.

Mike Veale is poised to take over as chief constable of Cleveland Police, based in Middlesborough.

It comes two months after Mr Veale denied rumours that he was planning to resign.

Mr Veale said it had been a very difficult decision after 13 years on the force, but it was "the right time for a new challenge".

He thanked his staff for their "unwavering support".

Cleveland police and crime commissioner Barry Coppinger said Mr Veale had enjoyed a distinguished career.

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

The Cleveland Police and Crime Panel will meet on January 23 to confirm the appointment.

Wiltshire police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson thanked Mr Veale for his "unwavering commitment and dedication" over the past 13 years, adding that he had been an "excellent chief constable".

The date of Mr Veale's departure has not yet been confirmed.