Special Constable Reaches Milestone In Service

Scilly’s only special constable has passed a milestone in his service.

On Friday night, Merryn Smith clocked up 999 hours of voluntary service.

Merryn is the sole volunteer officer after Lucy Mapplethorpe left Scilly a few weeks ago. Specials have the same powers and responsibility as full-time police and Merryn says he’s been able to fit his four hours of police work around his other community and work commitments each week.

The close nature of the community means he’s had to make a judgement call several times and has asked colleagues to deal with incidents involving friends or family. He says sometimes people have expected to be dealt with favourably but he says he can’t and won’t do that and most people understand he is doing his job.

He underwent seven weekends of training over a summer in Exeter and was able to accompany full-time colleagues on the beat after three weeks.

Merryn says the jobs police deal with are mainly negative ones, but often the outcome is successful and in dealing with problematic individuals, he is helping someone else or the community as a whole.

He says he’d like other residents aged over 17-and-a-half years to consider signing up but says many suitable candidates already work with retained or voluntary emergency services like the coastguard, fire service or ambulance.

Merryn says that there is crime here on the islands, albeit at a low level, but when it happens there is limited officer power to deal with it. He’s proud to be part of the small team, which hopefully makes life better for people here.


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