THERE is something sadly inevitable about Cleveland Police once more being in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The force is now looking for its fifth chief constable in seven years following the resignation of Mike Veale on Friday after allegations of a “serious nature” were made against him.

His departure comes just weeks after he made national headlines for his condemnation of funding cuts when a BBC documentary revealed just eight officers were on duty in Hartlepool on one Saturday night.

At the time, Mr Veale told reporters he took on the role to address previous “failures of leadership and failures of moral courage”.

While the nature and veracity of the allegations against him are not yet known, at the time of his appointment to Cleveland he was facing questions over an inquiry he oversaw while at Wiltshire Police, and was later investigated for smashing his phone with a golf club.

Was it wise for Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger to choose Mr Veale for the top job at Cleveland given these controversies – and the particular circumstances of the crisis-riven force? Plenty of his political opponents were lining up yesterday to tell him not.

Politics aside, the fact remains that the chief constable’s office at Cleveland seems to have had a revolving door of late. The rank and file officers, and the communities they protect, deserve better. If Mr Coppinger cannot find, and retain the right person to fulfil the role, then perhaps it is time for him to consider his own position.