Scilly’s Police To Feature On Primetime TV This Evening

Sergeant Colin Taylor

Sergeant Colin Taylor

Scilly’s police sergeant will be featured on BBC’s The One Show this evening after a weekend where the team has hit the headlines around the globe.

It all started when Sergeant Colin Taylor posted a tongue-in-cheek advert for the new constable vacancy, coming up in May.

PC Faye Webb is returning to a police position in Devon later this month.

Colin described the position as “quite possibly the most enviable policing post in the UK or even the world, after mine.”

And it seems to have struck a chord with Britain’s media, with articles appearing in several national newspapers.

Shortly after the advert was posted on Thursday, The Guardian’s internet correspondent, Elena Cresci, asked the question “Do the Isles of Scilly police have the best Facebook page ever?”

She gave examples of their work, including PC Mowgli, the station cat, who was recently promoted to ‘Deputy Chief Constable’ and a bid by the local coppers to replace the Top Gear team.

The story was again featured by the Guardian on Friday, picking up on recent ‘crimes’ on the islands, including, “a goldfish found abandoned on the steps of the police station, a short-sighted horse vandalising cars and a 50-year-old row over a shed.”

They also liked the way Sgt Taylor has to explain to tourists that, “yes, there are things for me to do here.”

On the same day, the Independent wrote about Colin having to resolve a disagreement over the merits of sea salt versus rock salt between a couple of drunk chefs at 2am “whilst still wearing pyjamas under your uniform.”

Then on Saturday, the Independent’s shorter edition, the iPaper, ran a page three profile of Colin, describing how the islands’ police team now have 30,000 Facebook likes and 5,000 Twitter followers.

They said Colin recognises that his job is very different from fighting gun crime in South London and that he’s now become a much-loved figure in the community.

But they also touch on the serious side of policing in Scilly, highlighting the £20m worth of cocaine found on a yacht at St Mary’s harbour in 2013.

And under the headline “Oh, sergeant, you’ve taken my Scilly fantasy and made it real” the Sunday Times’ India Knight wrote about how she wouldn’t mind the job herself.

Ms Knight says “the whole thing makes me sigh with longing” and praises Colin for updating his Facebook page “with great panache, keeping locals and visitors up to speed with all incidents.”

She also draws parallels to other famous writers who “chronicle each gloriously uneventful day, with an element of social comedy thrown in.”

Colin has also had interviews on Radio 5 and the World Service.

The One Show will feature an interview with Colin by the programme’s Matt Allwright. He was filmed at various sites around the island yesterday, including the place where the infamous ‘fried egg’ was found outside a shed at the school.

They were keen to find out about his day-to-day job in Scilly, says Colin, and the glorious weather yesterday should be a great advert for the islands.

He’s been surprised at how the Facebook post “just exploded” and even admits it’s been a bit embarrassing.

He puts it down to the ‘purdah’ period before the general election, during which the media can’t discuss certain political stories. It means they’ve been keen to find other topics to write about.

Following the publicity, the police team have been fielding applications from around the world including lots from the USA, as well as Australia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Canada and even Thailand.

But Colin says the potential candidates be disappointed. The job is only open to existing Devon and Cornwall officers and it closed last Friday.

Some US news sites referred to the islands’ police role as ‘cushy’ but Colin says there is a very serious side to their work with detection rates in the islands going up over the past year, particularly for drink drivers. And he says he never used social media to discuss private or domestic matters.

Colin says being good with social media won’t be a prerequisite to get the position. He’d never used it before coming to the islands and says it was actually former PC Mat Collier who introduced him to it.

Faye’s replacement should be appointed during May.

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