Devon's top police officer has been suspended from duty.

Will Kerr, who was appointed to the post of Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police in 2022, has been suspended following allegations of misconduct.

A statement from the police Crime Commissioner's office today, Wednesday, reads: ‘Pursuant to section 38(2) of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, has suspended the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Will Kerr OBE KPM, following allegations of misconduct.

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

Chief Constable Kerr joined the Force as Chief Constable in December 2022 with experience gained from over 30 years of policing, much of it working at a senior level in different organisations across the UK.

Most recently he was Deputy Chief Constable for Police Scotland, with responsibility for local policing provision throughout Scotland. He also oversaw both the criminal justice portfolio, and the partnership, prevention and community wellbeing portfolio, a command of over 16,500 officers and staff.

He was elected to one of the three European delegate posts for the Executive Committee of Interpol in November 2021, a position he will hold until November 2024. This is an influential post, involving complex global politics in an organisation consisting of 195 member countries.

Will spent over 27 years in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), where he rose to the rank of Assistant Chief Constable (ACC). As ACC for crime and operations he was the lead for both serious crime and counter terrorism. Whilst ACC for Belfast he was responsible for policing all major events in the City and was the Gold (strategic) Commander for the parading season in Northern Ireland. He is a very experienced Gold Public Order firearms commander and has significant investigative expertise in serious and organised crime, and Counter Terrorism.

In 2017 and 2018, Will held the Director of Vulnerabilities command within the National Crime Agency. In that role, he co-ordinated the UK’s response (both domestically and internationally) to child sexual abuse, modern slavery, human trafficking, and organised immigration crime.

Will was awarded the OBE in 2015, whilst ACC with PSNI and received the Kings Policing Medal in the New Year Honours 2023.