Michaela Kerr is the force’s new Assistant Chief Constable (Crime, Intelligence, Criminal Justice) and joins us from Greater Manchester Police.
In her 27 years in policing, ACC Kerr has spent the majority of her career in core CID roles. She joined West Midlands Police in 1996 and became a detective inspector in the Major Investigations Team and Head of Public Protection for Walsall and Wolverhampton Local Authority areas. She’s also worked in professional standards, intelligence and community safety.
After 20 years at WMP, ACC Kerr took a five-year secondment to National Counter Terrorism Policing where she led on the CT and Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) prison intelligence portfolio and the national CT firearms teams which she describes as an amazing experience. “In my last year there I was part of the leadership team that set up the first joint intelligence unit involving the security services, the Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service. It’s something I’ll always be very proud of being part of.”
That led, in November 2021, to ACC Kerr moving to GMP on promotion to chief superintendent where she led the Public Protection Department and throughout that time remained a Senior Investigating Officer.
ACC Kerr has won two national awards of which she is rightly proud. In 2017 she won the Police Federation National Investigation of the Year Award for her role as the SIO in a complex public protection investigation about abuse in a care home. “We used new forensic techniques which had never been explored in the UK before to prove that one of the carers had poisoned numerous residents. It was the first time that the Judge ordered a whole life sentence which was a hybrid sentence because the offender was mentally unfit. However, the Judge ordered that when she was deemed mentally fit she would then serve the whole life sentence, ensuring victims and the families got justice and she served the full term of her sentence. This was new legislation which hadn’t been used previously and we were delighted to be able to deliver that to the victims.”
In 2021 ACC Kerr was presented with the Women in Policing National Coaching Award. “The thing that matters to me the most are people. It’s a real privilege to be able to identify and support talented people, not just police officers. I am a great advocate for police staff and ensuring the role they play in policing is suitably recognised and they have the opportunity for career progression too.”
Commenting on her first week at Leicestershire Police, she said; “I cannot believe the warmth and welcome I have been shown here in just my first week. There is a real sense of strong values and family.
“I couldn’t have picked a better portfolio – helping the vulnerable is just so important to me. Protecting domestic abuse victims and children in particular really matters. Welfare is also important. I know the impact these cases can have on families, victims and communities but also our officers and staff as well and we have got to get our welfare offer right.
“I heard a lot about ‘Team Leicestershire’ when I was researching and applying for the job but now I am here I can really feel it – from the minute I arrived. It feels very genuine and I am very much looking forward to my future here at Leicestershire Police.”
ACC Kerr is married with a 17-year-old son. Her husband is a retired police officer and they have two Collie dogs – Dave and Colin! “I just love walking them as much as I can. No matter how tough my day has been, walking them always makes me feel re-energised and happy.”