In the Media

Isles of Scilly crime rises ? but local police officer says: 'Don't panic'

PUBLISHED November 29, 2011

Taser and pepper spray used in incidents as islands notch up 100th crime this year

Islanders are certainly not panicking ? but one of the most remote communities in the UK appears to be in the grip of a mini crimewave.

Residents of the Isles of Scilly are wont to leave their front doors open and the keys in the ignition of their cars.

However, police based on the archipelago off the south-west coast of Cornwall have just recorded the 100th crime on the islands this year.

In recent years the number of crimes has generally fallen and in 2009-10 only 47 were logged.

Sergeant Colin Taylor, who describes his job as being like that of the Nick Berry bobby in Heartbeat "but less frenetic", said there was no need for islanders or visitors to be alarmed.

"This remains one of the safest places in the UK to live and visit. I don't think anyone needs to start worrying," he said.

Taylor said the 100th crime was a vandal attack on an electric fence owned by a wildlife trust at the centre of a dispute about the rights and wrongs of animals grazing on certain areas of Scilly.

He also said the police have been undertaking campaigns on drink driving and drug use, boosting the figures but probably making the islands even safer.

Not every one of the 100 incidents would have turned out to be an actual crime in the end but would have to be recorded as such under national guidelines.

Taylor concedes, however, that there have been some nasty incidents. A Taser was fired to help break up a violent dispute and pepper spray has also been used in another incident.

But as Taylor's Twitter account reveals, most of his time is taken up by incidents such as dogs chasing chickens or fouling the pavements.

"There are certainly no riots breaking out on Scilly," said Taylor. "I think it would be wrong to make the assumption that there is some sort of crimewave here." © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds