Chief Constable suspended over misconduct allegations

By Will Goddard

26th Jul 2023 | Local News

Will Kerr joined the force in December (PCC)
Will Kerr joined the force in December (PCC)

The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has been suspended by Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez following allegations of misconduct.

The BBC has reported that the allegations relate to sexual offences in Northern Ireland.

Will Kerr joined the force in December. He previously working and a deputy chief constable in Scotland and spending more than 27 years in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, where he rose to the rank of assistant chief constable for crime and operations, leading on serious crime and counter terrorism.

While in Belfast he was responsible for policing all major events in the city and was the strategic commander for the parading season in Northern Ireland.

The Devon and Cornwall police website says he is a very experienced firearms commander and has significant investigative expertise in serious and organised crime, and counter terrorism.

The Commissioner has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which has confirmed it will begin an investigation.

Acting Chief Constable Jim Colwell said: "I understand our communities will be concerned about the reports in the media today regarding the suspension of Chief Constable Will Kerr by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

"I will be stepping into the role of Acting Chief Constable on an interim basis to ensure consistency of leadership and service delivery of policing across the peninsula.

"This now remains a matter for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the IOPC to investigate.

"I am keen to reassure the public that we will maintain our focus on delivering the best possible service to our communities.

"We have thousands of dedicated and professional officers, staff and volunteers within our force and strong leadership throughout which, when pulled together, mean we can continue to make improvements at pace to provide our communities with the highest levels of service they deserve.

"Public trust and confidence are at the very heart of our ability to police effectively and we are incredibly proud that in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly we have the support of our communities."

A former deputy chief constable in Scotland, Will Kerr spent over 27 years in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and joined the National Crime Agency (NCA) on secondment in 2017. He was awarded an OBE in 2015.


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