The BBC and other media have reported that Devon & Cornwall Police’s Chief Constable Chief Constable, Will Kerr, has been suspended by Police Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, while being investigated over serious allegations of sexual offences in Northern Ireland, where he was a police officer for 27 years before leaving in 2018.

He joined Devon and Cornwall Police in December, 2022.

The BBC reports that:

During Mr Kerr’s time with the PSNI he led on both serious crime and counter terrorism.

He was appointed an OBE in 2015 and was awarded the King’s Police Medal in the 2023 New Year Honours.

“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 [OPCC]. 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.

“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.

“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.”