Scilly PC responds to 'bobby on the beat' comments
An Isles of Scilly Police Officer has responded to comments by Councillor Avril Mumford that there "should always be a visible police presence on St Mary's".
Cllr Mumford criticised the lack of officers on the street at August 7th's Full Council meeting during a discussion about the impact on Scilly of the proposed merger between police forces in Devon & Cornwall and Dorset.
PC Richard Wiltshire wrote on a Facebook thread: "As an officer mentioned in this article I feel it needs a response.
"Officers posted to the IOS are on call 24 hours regardless of working or not. Each Officer accepts that we may be needed to attend duty whether rostered to work or not."
He went on to respond to other comments on the thread - one by a visitor who said he had only seen one officer on his two-week holiday and another remarking that police used to meet the Scillonian ferry, giving passengers "a wonderful feeling of being safe".
PC Wiltshire wrote: "Seeing the Scillonian in is something we do when other duties allow. As being seen by visitors who are here for a short period of time it is unfortunate if they do not see us. However, comments which may be valid to that individual which are negative do not assist the greater community but only act to undermine the work we do within the community.
"I accept that due to the nature of Policing and the nature of what we deal with is often confidential and complex we cannot and will not broadcast what we do and why we have not been visible on a day to day basis. We also accept the public we do help do not vocalise our interactions so it goes unseen.
"As stated before if help is needed the Officers will act."
His remarks were supported by Faye Quarry, formerly Scilly PC Faye Webb.
PC Wiltshire, who has served on Scilly since July 2017, visited Belgium earlier this month to represent the islands' British Legion at the 90th anniversary reenactment of the first Great Pilgrimage to Ypres.