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Devon and Cornwall Police suspends chief constable following sexual assault allegations

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Devon and Cornwall Police suspends chief constable following sexual assault allegations

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The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police has been suspended and is being investigated over serious allegations of sexual offences in Northern Ireland.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Will Kerr was suspended on Wednesday following "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.

The Independent Officer for Police Conduct (IOPC) is also conducting a separate investigation in England over misconduct allegations. 

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland said it had launched a criminal investigation on 16 June into "serious allegations of sexual offences".

BBC News reported that the "exact nature of the allegations against Mr Kerr and any early investigative actions remained confidential" and an IOPC spokesperson said it had "decided to investigate allegations of misconduct" against Mr Kerr following a "referral from the Devon and Cornwall police and crime commissioner".

The report states that the IOPC later issued another statement, saying its investigation would consider whether Mr Kerr "may have breached police professional standards relating to serious criminal allegations currently under investigation by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland".

"We are also investigating whether inaccurate information may have been provided as part of a previous vetting process," a spokesperson added.

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.


Photo credit BBC NEWS

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