Chief Constable Attends Public Consultation At Town Hall

The Islands' Policing Team with, left to right, PCSO Shirley Graham, Special Constable Merryn Smith, Chief Constable Stephen Otter, Sergeant Colin Taylor, PC Marc Blyth and PC Mat Collier.

After being delayed by fog, the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, Stephen Otter, made it to the islands for a public meet–and–greet exercise in the Town Hall yesterday.

Around 50 people attended the event and spoke with the local officers.

Stephen said he’d chatted to a few locals and there didn’t seem to be the volume of issues raised as in previous years.

He heard some complaints about late night noise but he says that’s something that isn’t specific to the islands.

Comments were also made about the number of vehicles that are on St Mary’s but he says that is beyond the control of a Chief Constable.

Stephen said yesterday’s fog helped him understand why we need extra resources here, particularly for resilience if we’re cut off, and why he doesn’t want our staffing of three fulltime officers and a PCSO post to be cut.

From Radio Scilly

Hear our full interview with Chief Constable Stephen Otter

He said sometimes it might seem that the islands are over resourced, but the officers here provide 24-hour cover and he says the demand on their time is extensive, over and above their normal hours of work.

Stephen feels we get a more personalised service and see our officers more often than many parts of the force in rural Cornwall, where a couple of officers might be serving a huge geographical area.

The Chief Constable says his team often assess the maximum three-year tenure for a police position here. He feels it is right to limit a stay as officers need to develop their skills and that means access to mainland training and career progression.

Mike Hicks attended as Chair of Council and a police authority member. He says he is pleased at how islanders now appear to view the local police and says the relationship is excellent.

He is pleased that many concerns of recent years have seemingly been dealt with, including the issue of late night noise.

Mike says the issues that occurred over the summer, particularly with the visiting builders, have been resolved quickly.

He also feels that the officers perform an important duty at the school, with advice on bullying and drugs awareness offered to youngsters preparing them for what they may experience on the mainland.