A FORMER Cleveland Police chief will not be facing criminal charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says "there is insufficient evidence" to bring a prosecution against ex-assistant chief constable Richard Brunstrom.

Mr Brunstrom, who is now the deputy chief constable of North Wales Police, is to face neither charges nor disciplinary action, following an investigation into claims made about him, code-named Operation Tern.

Tern was a spin-off to the controversial and just-completed Operation Lancet inquiry into allegations of corruption among members of Cleveland Police.

Operation Tern began in February, and the file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service in September.

It is understood to have arisen from a statement from suspended Middlesbrough CID head, Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon, and claims made by retired chief superintendent Doug Smith.

A CPS spokeswoman said: "After detailed and careful consideration the CPS has decided there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction regarding the conduct of the police officer involved."

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said: This matter is now closed."

Cleveland assistant chief constable Dave Earnshaw was cleared following an investigation earlier in the year.

Mr Brunstrom hit the headlines in March last year when, in a separate, unrelated incident, a judge accused him of being "disingenuous" in his evidence during a blackmail case at Teesside Crown Court.

Judge Richard Lowden threw out the case because of a failure, he said, by police to follow Home Office guidelines on telephone tapping.

As a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers on drugs, Mr Brunstrom earlier this year joined Minister for Roads Lord Whitty in the national launch of drug detection techniques piloted by his old force - Cleveland Police.