Policeman reveals Sark is ‘awash’ with criminals
TO outsiders, Sark may seem like a quiet and peaceful place populated entirely by the most law abiding of citizens...
But, according to the island’s outgoing Police Constable, it is ‘awash’ with people with criminal convictions.
And he has suggested that the island’s police officers should be equipped with batons and Pava spray for ‘self-protection’ and the protection of the public.
In his report to Sark’s Chief Pleas government after completing his year in office, PC Mike Fawson put forward a number of suggestions regarding law enforcement in the island.
Among these is his belief that people coming to the island to work should be subject to background checks.
‘Possibly all externally recruited seasonal employees should by law be made to have a DBS vetting check performed on them before they are employed on Sark,’ he wrote.
‘Additionally anyone wishing to live on Sark should be made to have a criminal records check.
‘Sark in the past (and current) has been awash with people who have various criminal convictions, which in many cases we have no knowledge of until another offence is committed,’ he added.
He also said that he backs the long-mooted idea of having some form of permanent Customs and Immigration officer presence at Maseline and Creux harbours.
‘Currently there is no way of detecting/preventing illegal narcotics or other illegal goods entering Sark on passengers coming off vessels entering the Sark harbours or from any other points of entry to Sark,’ he wrote.
The idea of a Customs post has been talked about for some time, with the proponents saying that it would allow direct international sailings into and out of the island which could help the economy.
Opponents worry that regular direct sailings could have a negative impact on the island’s security.
PC Fawson went on to calls for the island’s two senior officers, and the team of special constables and custody officers, to be given weapons.
‘There are many incidents that we cannot lawfully do anything about as we do not have the appropriate tools and laws at our disposal to deal with them, such as speeding, intoxicated driving,’ he said.
‘All Sark special constables and custody officers should be fully trained with and equipped with batons and Pava spray for self-protection and protection of the general public,’ he said.
He also recommended that Sark police should be provided with ‘the tools to enforce the laws’, citing a hand-held speed radar measuring device and alcohol/drug breath/saliva test kits as examples.
PC Fawson has also expressed concern about excessive alcohol consumption, under-age drinking and mental health issues and said that CCTV cameras should be installed at a number of points around the island.