Will Kerr, the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has been suspended by the Police and Crime Commissioner after being the subject of allegations of misconduct.
Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime commissioner responsible for overseeing Devon and Cornwall Police announced the suspension of chief constable Kerr, and has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which has confirmed it has opened an investigation into the claims against him.
It is not yet clear what the nature of the allegations against the chief constable are. Jim Colwell has been appointed as acting chief constable for the duration of the suspension.
In a statement, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner said: "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."
Acting Chief Constable, Jim Colwell said that he wanted to reassure the public that despite the allegations and suspension against Will Kerr, the police will maintain their focus on delivering the best possible service to the communities.
He 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.”