Praise For Outgoing Police Chief

Stephen Otter on St Mary's during the recent Royal visit

Scilly’s Police Authority representative, Council Chairman Mike Hicks, says he has been impressed by the leadership of the outgoing Chief Constable.

Stephen Otter announced he is leaving the Devon and Cornwall Police after 7 years to take up a role with Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabularies.

Mr Otter has visited Scilly frequently, most recently during the Queen’s visit and he has spoken of the ‘unique’ nature of the islands in policing terms.

Whilst he has presided over cutbacks across the force because of the Coalition Government austerity measures, he has maintained the three full-time officers and a PCSO role at St Mary’s.

The year-round staffing increase from 2 officers and a summer relief was introduced under his tenureship.

Mike Hicks says the Chief took charge stating his ambition was to raise the profile of the force and bring it into the top ten of the 43 forces by 2012.

He says, “We were lying 40th out of the 43 forces at that time and he actually achieved that ambition in late 2011 much of it down to his vision and leadership and that of the Chief Officer Group well supported by the Police Authority.’

Mike says, “His time with Devon and Cornwall was almost completed anyway and in order to retain him would have meant going to the Home Secretary to apply for an extension to his Tenure with us.”

Scilly MP Andrew George says Mr Otter “has a good record which he should be justly proud.”

But he is concerned at plans to bring in elected Police Commissioners calling it “a new management gimmick.” He says his constituency of Scilly and West Cornwall needs “someone like Stephen to stay in post for what many fear could be a very disruptive period during which the most challenging efficiency gains and cost savings will have to be achieved. What we need is stability and certainty.”