A SENIOR police officer is travelling between the region and Scotland whilst working on secondment, it has been confirmed.

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin has regularly been Cleveland Police's spokesman addressing the government's coronavirus Stay at Home message.

The spokesman has said the senior officer, who is working at the force on secondment from Police Scotland, has been renting a property in the force area but has been returning home on a weekend.

Cleveland Police say the senior officer is working within the government guidelines due to his role as a 'key worker' and the news was revealed as the Dominic Cummings furore continues.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: “Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin is currently seconded to Cleveland Police from Police Scotland and remains resident in Scotland.

“As he is unable to discharge his full duties and responsibilities while working from home, Chief Superintendent McLoughlin, a key worker, travels to work during the week.

"Travelling to work has, throughout this period, been permitted for key workers under the regulations so long as home working is not a viable option.”

As part of government guidelines key workers, including the emergency services, are entitled to travel freely between their place of work and home.

Before the bank holiday weekend, the officer, who is head of local policing at the force, urged people 'to continue to act responsible and maintain social distancing'.

He said: “We continue to police according to the national guidance and continue to ask our communities to abide by all the Government advice to stay alert, stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, limit contact with other people, keep your distance if you go out and wash your hands regularly."

Until he took up his role with Cleveland Police the experienced officer was the Divisional Commander for Forth Valley in eastern Scotland.

Chief Supt McLoughlin is overseeing the force's return to community policing and will be heading up its drive to build positive relationships with residents, identifying crime hotspots and dealing with anti-social behaviour.

More information about the government's coronavirus guidelines can be found at www.gov.uk