Police Appeal For More Help From Islanders

police station 3Islanders need to do more to help the police. That’s the view of Sergeant Colin Taylor, who has appealed for locals to be vigilant and for us to report any unusual behaviour immediately so his team can get to the bottom of the recent thefts on St Mary’s.

More fuel has been taken from boats, bringing the total number of fuel thefts reported over the last month to 11.

And there’s been an unusual theft from a vehicle. Two wheels and two tyres have been taken from a car parked at the side of the road to Deep Point.

Colin says the police are not going to be able to solve every crime that takes place on St Mary’s and “some responsibility needs to be taken by other people.”

There have been complaints over late night noise in Hugh Town. Colin says that’s not unusual at the peak of the season but again locals, including pub landlords, need to play their part and encourage others to keep quiet.

Colin says people leaving pubs in the evening need to bear in mind that families close by will be sleeping and won’t want to be woken up at midnight.

He says his team has also had to deal with incidents of underage drinking on the islands and parents can help reduce the police workload by making sure they know where their children are.

Six years ago, tackling late night noise became a policing priority following a Community Safety Partnership survey that indicated locals wanted action.

Now the approach has changed. Colin says he can’t have his officers standing in the street all night to discourage loud talking because it means they can’t address other priorities.

He says shift patterns are biased towards the evenings, but whilst some of the recent police issues have occurred at night, officers need to be on duty in the daytime too.

“We can’t be in every place all of the time,” says Colin.

He says he has to focus on more serious crimes like theft and damage, which leave victims, even if people woken up at night by loud noise might feel like they’re being victimised.

21 Responses to Police Appeal For More Help From Islanders

  1. Ewart August 26, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    In addition to the full time Police Officers on the Islands, how many Special Constables are there, do any of the off Islands have a Special Constable??

  2. mainland visitor August 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    As a regular visitor to your islands, and as a ratepayer in Cornwall, my council tax goes towards police salaries, including the person in question, so hopefully I may be permitted to comment.
    Interestingly, somebody raised the question – what are the kids supposed to make of it?
    I asked my three children to read through this and previous articles. previously posted.
    Briefly best summarised as — NOT IMPRESSED — to put it politely.
    I will say no more on their comments, as I do not wish to cause offence.

  3. Thomasina Cairns August 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Susan, making noise in the street is an offence , especially if it is late at night . It is called anti social behaviour . Where I live , in a busy Cornish town , it is not acceptable nor is it tolerated . On the few occasions that my self & the residents who live nearby , have had to experience any loud noise , shouting , swearing , singing it is soon sorted out by a patrol car arriving on the scene . Whether because they were cruising around or had received a phone call I cannot say ( these infrequent incidents only seem to occur Fri/Sun , never during the week ! ) What I am saying & have said before on this site I feel more
    secure & confident in my local police team than the Islanders seem to be on Scilly .
    I realise society has changed over the past twenty years since I left the Islands , well
    Cornwall has changed also . We have a large influx of non u k residents ( of which the majority live by our rules & laws ) . we also have had a lot of homeless people from inner cities brought into the county . Add to this hostels & safe houses dotted around the larger towns to accomodate people just released from prison or who are out on bail .
    I think Devon & Cornwall Police do a great job in coping with this extra load , especially as their numbers have been reduced in the drive to save money . You can add to this all the
    many thousands of extra holiday makers who are in Cornwall during the summer months .I read the local press & follow it online , I never seem to come across the negativity that
    is apparent on scillytoday . Lets face it , most of it is small time petty incidents which should be easy to deal with , especially in a community where everyone is known to the police force . The Sergeant mentioned the distance that can be covered by walking from
    pub to pub , well, back in the day, bobbies rode bicycles !

  4. Colin Bean August 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    “The pubs whilst they can be busy and noisy are for the best part safe and good humoured.”

    Colin, once again you choose to gloss over the fact that Hugh Street residents’ lives are blighted by noisy, drunken yobs who have no regard for anyone other than themselves. Other areas of St Marys, are also affected at night, often into the early hours.

    I believe Anti-Social Behaviour is defined as:
    “Behaviour by a person which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as the person”.

    Are you and your team not able or willing to “nick” a few every week to support we residents and ratepayers (and, ultimately your salary payers), who look to you for help?

    • Mr B Hill, Eastleigh August 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Good one Mr Bean,
      Because there is nothing a copper likes more than to be reminded that his salary is funded by the tax payer!

  5. Kate Stephens August 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks to Colin for his extended reponse. I have every confidence in our police team and think we are lucky to have such a dedicated set of officers. Compared to the experience people have on the mainland we are fortunate to have them.

  6. P Thomas August 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I agree with the Bryher person I have no faith in the local police at all
    Bring back Ivan the Terrible. P J

  7. scillysergeant August 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Detections increased between 2013 & 2014 to a position where Scilly had a high detection rate for crimes when compared nationally. This was done without the benefit of the CCTV coverage or ready access to Scene of Crimes enjoyed by mainland based officers. There was a 1500% increase last year on the year before with respect to proactive policing detections which was due to a concerted effort in the pursuit of Drunk and Disorderly, Public Order, Drug and Drink Drive matters. The relatively low level nature of the Public Order, Drug and D&D matters meant that I was not supported in putting to court the offenders, they paid their fines instead. I would hope that it is welcome news that there have been very few serious violent injury assaults brought to our attention for several years now. This is a departure from previous years where my memory serves that assaults were more commonplace and serious in nature as were the drug offences. The pubs whilst they can be busy and noisy are for the best part safe and good humoured. That said for the first time in many years action was taken that saw a local pub put on notice by Devon and Cornwall Police Licensing Department. This took us some 11 police reports to achieve. There are currently 5 people on bail on St Mary’s for a variety of assault, sexual and theft offences. The investigations are ongoing. 2014 saw 16 people arrested which was an increase over the 6 in 2013. This year to date there have been 13 arrests. Under my supervision 8 people have been arrested and prosecuted for Drink Drive Offences in the last 15 months, two arrests being on Off Islands which has never been achieved before. This is a factor x4 more than any similar period in recent years and has been done with the safety of road users in mind. Also at St Mary’s Magistrates there has been a prosecution for a Domestic Violence offence and a Bind Over. There are two matters currently underway in courts on the Mainland for traffic offences on Scilly. All decision making on cases has to be documented soberly in line with national standards set out by both Devon and Cornwall Police and the Crown Prosecution Service. This has the effect of ensuring that a person living on or visiting Scilly is at no greater risk of being disadvantaged by conviction than anyone on the Mainland. Some of these court cases were not reported on by the media. This may have been because they were held away from the islands or were considered too sensitive and personal in nature to publicly air.

    Our Safeguarding work with our partners in Child and Adult Social Care has increased year on year and is a priority part of our responsibilities. This goes largely unseen and again the sensitive nature of these investigations does not lend itself well to publicity nor do sexual assaults of which there have been a number. Whilst we do not keep a tally, some 30 persons have been reported for Parking Offences since the Council renewed the lines in October 2014. I am conscious of an opinion in the community that our time would be better spent dealing with crime investigation rather than Traffic Warden parking enforcement duties. I am very sympathetic to this view however it continues to be our responsibility. Since January I am pleased to report that seatbelt use on St Mary’s has increased dramatically to the point where for the first time the overwhelming majority are wearing theirs. This has not happened by accident. It involved policing with a focus on stopping vehicles and talking with drivers and was not achieved by previous policing efforts for a law that came into being in 1983. Our thanks go to motorists in responding positively to our educative promotion of this requirement in the early part of this year. It necessitated the issue of only one ticket. Burglaries remain infrequent but last year saw the swift recovery of high value property from one such matter that drew no publicity and the suspect was dealt with in accordance with the express wishes of the victims. I am conscious of the fact that much of this data is not necessarily the news that many would like to see promoted wider through Social Media.

    In May and early August I took on patrol with me a local Councellor for both and early and a late shifts, an initiative that much larger forces areas have just started promoting. I was interested to get a better understanding of the expectations of the community and to show what ground it is possible to cover by a single officer patrolling in the evening and at night. I extended then and now that welcome to others to patrol with me with a view to witnessing for themselves what we are able to achieve and to hear constructive critique on what should be our priorities. In early September I will promote a survey to establish what the community priorities are of us at St Mary’s Police.

    Where I aim in future to improve is in providing some of this data to show, I hope, the effort we are putting into policing. I would offer more data but am currently away from Scilly with the family and consequently away from that information. If my off duty efforts on Social Media are not to your taste then I respect that and desire to impose no expectation for you to continue reading them.

    Sgt Colin Taylor

    • Now an Ex holiday maker August 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      Colin, from reading the posts I think people want more policing at pub closing time and possibly enforcing the law regarding serving drunk patrons. Having stayed on Hugh Street for a two week holiday with the children I can say that we are not coming back again. The noise and mainly bad language from 11.30pm onwards Friday to Sunday evenings is unbearable in August. i’ve been coming to Scilly for years, first with my parents in the 60’s and now with my children but not anymore. Goodbye.

      • Susan August 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm

        As far as I’m aware, making noise in the street is not a crime. The youngsters that wake me on their way home from the town pubs have parents entrenched in the tourist industry and most even work in the same sector. They’re basically biting the hands that feed them It’s not a failing on the part of the police, it’s not their job to keep people quiet, it’s their job to investigate domestic assualts, petrol thefts and drink driving and they aint gonna be able to do that stood outside the Mermaid… or the Bishop (now which pub should they be doorstaff for??????)

        I simply think it’s a failing of the individuals concerned, a lack of respect for the lifeblood of the islands and lack of foresight at the damage they are doing and the people they are upsetting as they shout down the street.. I would be appalled if it was my kids.

        • Sleepless, I wonder why. August 27, 2015 at 8:10 am

          Sarah, making a noise in the street is not a crime, but you, like the police misunderstand the problem. Offensive language and antisocial behaviour is a crime. The root problem is the pubs serving alcohol to drunk patrons, this is illegal under the 1872 licensing act, the amendment under the 2003 Licensing Act gives the Landlord the right to refuse alcohol, but this is rarely done because pubs won’t turn away easy money. This is a police matter – unless you are on Scilly of course and then the police can choose to ignore it. All they have to is patrol Hugh Street, The Strand & Church Street, on foot, rather than sit in their Land Rover and drive past the offenders. They could also go into the pub in uniform half an hour before closing and watch the pubs serve drunk customers. It’s not difficult. Colin wants more help from the public – well there you are Colin, now get it sorted.

  8. A local August 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

    The laid back humorous attitude portrayed on social media may well be a hit online & in the newspapers but at grass roots level where it really matters , to the victims of crime , all of that is irrelevant .

    How right you are.

  9. also of Bryher August 24, 2015 at 10:47 am

    We have been let down, what are the kids s’pose to make of it.

  10. Thomasina Cairns August 24, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Totally agree Mr Bronson, I have posted on this site previously , my feelings about policing on the islands . The laid back humorous attitude portrayed on social media may well be a hit online & in the newspapers but at grass roots level where it really matters , to the victims of crime , all of that is irrelevant . Surely , in such a small community it shouldn’t be that difficult to maintain law & order & to actually solve crimes ? It seems to me the amount of cases being brought to court are so low that they not worth mentioning . Now to be asking the Islanders to help in solving the incidents that appear to be happening far more frequently seems to me to be unbelievable ! What on earth are the Police Force on Scilly being paid for ? I remember from over 50 years of living on Scilly the posting was always considered a ‘ cushy ‘ number , a break from the real world
    of policing . I believe you will be joining us back here on the mainland soon , Sergeant , lets hope it’s not too much of a rude awakening for you ! I do wonder if you will have quite so much time to spend on Facebook ?

  11. of Bryher August 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Sadly, I have lost all faith in my local police.

  12. Mary MacMary August 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Just ban alcohol and legalise drugs instead,
    That’ll sort all the late night agro out, as everyone will be too chilled to be a nuisance

    • Fed Up August 23, 2015 at 12:09 am

      It might work Mary, as I have just been woken up by hoards of noisy people leaving the Mermaid at midnight, where are the police??????? They are shouting, singing and screaming, wonderful place Scilly in summer, roll on the winter and quiet times.

      • Mary MacMary August 23, 2015 at 11:05 pm

        One hates to be pedantic, but the way you’ve punctuated your comment makes it read that its Colin and his chums who are shouting, singing and screaming, which I think is highly unlikely.
        Please advise further.

        • More Fed Up August 24, 2015 at 10:49 pm

          For the record, grammer wurnt my strong point. Tis youngsters wot is making the noise, the old bill aren’t anywhere to be seen.

  13. Charles Bronson August 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    This simply isn’t good enough. It’s expected from a London Borough where crime rates are high and malicious, but this is Scilly, it’s a small area to Police, what’s so hard about that? You can’t be in every place all the time, of course not, but you can be a little more proactive and be at the right place at the right time, it’s not hard to work out a trend! Judging by the lack of solved crimes, committed by the usual suspects, what else are you doing to occupy your evenings, when you could be out telling people to shut up and move on or else… It only takes a few to make an example of and things will soon change for the better. Cue sarcastic humerous reply from Colin Taylor in ye olde English…

  14. The Patrician August 21, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Well to keep the noise down all the pubs have to do is follow the law and not serve intoxicated patrons – simple.