A FORMER senior PSNI officer has been suspended from his role as Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police over allegations of misconduct.
Will Kerr, who spent 27 years with the PSNI, was appointed to his current position just seven months ago.
In a statement today, Alison Hernandez, Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), announced Mr Kerr’s suspension.
“The Commissioner has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which has confirmed it will commence an investigation,” added the statement.
A spokesperson for the IOPC said that after assessing a referral from the PCC, it ‘decided to investigate allegations of misconduct’ against Mr Kerr.
Meanwhile, Devon and Cornwall’s Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell has moved to reassure communities that policing will be unaffected.
During his time with the PSNI, Mr Kerr held a number of command-level posts, including Assistant Chief Constable Belfast and Assistant Chief Constable Crime and Operations.
In the former former role, he was responsible for policing all major events in the city and was the strategic commander for the marching season in the North.
He joined the National Crime Agency in 2017 where he co-ordinated Britain’s domestic and international response to child sexual abuse and exploitation, modern slavery, human trafficking and organised immigration crime.
Prior to taking up his role with Devon & Cornwall, Mr Kerr spent four years as Deputy Chief Constable at Police Scotland.
In November 2021, he was elected to one of the three European delegate posts for the Executive Committee of Interpol.
He was awarded an OBE in 2015 and received the King’s Policing Medal in the 2023 New Year Honours.
Speaking today, Devon and Cornwall’s Acting Chief Constable said the force ‘will maintain our focus on delivering the best possible service’.
“I understand our communities will be concerned about the reports in the media today regarding the suspension of Chief Constable Will Kerr KPM by the Police and Crime Commissioner,” added ACC Colwell.
“The PCC suspension of Mr Kerr follows a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
“I am keen to reassure the public that we will maintain our focus on delivering the best possible service to our communities.”
He added: “This now remains a matter for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the IOPC to investigate.”