Top PSNI officer takes post with British National Crime Agency

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr dealt with issues such as flags protests and parading

One of the PSNI's most senior officers, Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr, has taken up a post with the British National Crime Agency (NCA), often dubbed the British equivalent of the FBI.

Mr Kerr is the new director of the NCA’s child exploitation and online protection command.

He replaces Johnny Gwynne, who in September moved to Police Scotland as deputy chief constable.

He took a case last year against the North's Policing Board after he failed to be promoted to the post of PSNI deputy chief constable, a position that went to Drew Harris. That discrimination case was settled later in November 2015.

Mr Kerr has more than 25 years’ experience in policing, serving first in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and then in the PSNI.

Liaising with Garda

He is currently in charge of crime operations and liaises regularly with the Garda in terms of tackling cross-Border crime.

Mr Kerr has also been involved in managing difficult frontline policing such as the loyalist flags protests and parading.

NCA director-general Lynne Owens said Mr Kerr was an “exceptional candidate” who with his involvement in child protection would be faced with a “complex and constantly evolving challenge” in the role.

“I feel very confident to have Will in the driving seat,” she said.

Anne Connolly, chairwoman of the North's Policing Board, wished Mr Kerr well in his "challenging" new post.

“We trust this move will also be beneficial to the PSNI in further enhancing working relations and the operational expertise that the NCA provides to the PSNI in dealing with this type of crime,” she said.