Will Kerr, the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, has been suspended following allegations of misconduct.

His suspension was announced by the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez. She has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which is launching an investigation.

No details have been released about the allegations against Mr Kerr, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will not be making any further comment

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 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.”

Mr Kerr joined the force as Chief Constable in December 2022 with more than 30 years' policing experience, much of it working at a senior level.

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.

Mr Kerr was awarded the OBE in 2015, whilst Assistant Chief Constable with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and received the Kings Policing Medal in the New Year Honours 2023.