St Helena : St Helena The Directors – Part VIII Peter Coll, Director of Police
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 23.07.2011 (Article Archived on 06.08.2011)
St Helena Government has introduced a new directorate structure which came into effect on 1st April.
The Directors – Part VIII Peter Coll, Director of Police
St Helena Government has introduced a new directorate structure which came into effect on 1st April. Because of this, instead of Departments SHG now has ten Directorates. In a ten part series the Public Relations/Information Office will introduce each of the ten Directors, their responsibilities and directorate plans for the next year.
This week meet Peter Coll, Director of Police:
The Police Directorate is responsible for the Police, Prison, Fire & Sea Rescue, and Immigration services.
The Directorate has 59 full time posts with a budget of approximately £730,000. The service needs to provide all year round cover for emergencies including Bank Holidays, weekends and unsociable hours and is supported by volunteer special constables, auxiliary fire fighters and divers who are employed to support operations as required.
On being the Director of Police, Peter said:
“There are lots of advantages and overlaps in being responsible for the Police, Prison, Fire & Sea Rescue, and Immigration services and in many respects it makes the liaison between these areas a better fit than in the UK where they would be entirely separate agencies.
“This has worked very well in my first year and we have some good multi-skilled staff working for us, allowing us to provide efficiencies such as the prison service answering emergency telephone calls at night to alert police officers to respond. We are working closely with the Home & International Committee and value their advice and feedback. We regularly consult with them and keep them updated regarding our progress.”
The directorate is continuing to develop local staff and as a result some officers are working alongside police officers from overseas. Peter has identified the need to recruit more local officers and to work with young people to have a balance of experience and local knowledge for the next generation of Saint police officers. The Prison Service is also seeking to develop services around offender management to have proper prevention strategies to combat reoffending.
The Fire & Sea Rescue teams will continue to develop and train to make St Helena a safer place. The Immigration Service welcomes Lewis Evans here this week and Lewis will provide UK expertise to develop the Island’s Immigration policies and procedures to make them fit for purpose and ready for increased tourism on St Helena. Prior to being the Director of Police on St Helena, Peter was a Chief Superintendent of Police with 30 years’ experience in both the Metropolitan Police and Sussex Police. His last role in the Sussex Police before coming to St Helena in 2009 was as the Head of Community & Justice Department with responsibility for Case Progression, Witness Care and the Detention of 50,000 prisoners a year through the Sussex’ police cells. Before this Peter was in charge of managing Crime & Operations at Brighton & Hove Police Division.
Regarding his job Peter said:
“I love the fact that the job is unpredictable and that I could be managing a serious crime or major incident without warning. Thankfully, this does not happen often, but we need to be prepared for every eventuality. The role brings me into contact with a huge variety of people and my wife and I were really pleased to return to St Helena after our enforced stay away through illness earlier this year. Saints have been fantastic in supporting us and wishing us well.”
Peter has been married to his wife Julie for 30 years and has a daughter who is a Nursery Nurse and a son who is also a police officer.
Peter’s main interests are following Spurs and “playing the occasional round of golf badly”. He also enjoys singing “(also badly)” and has had the pleasure of performing with the “very patient and talented” “Big Easy”.
“Julie and I love St Helena and have made many Saint friends during our time here. We feel privileged to be here and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kindness and support.”
Public Relations/Information Office
13 July 2011