We will know the name of the island’s new Chief Constable sooner rather than later, but they won’t take up the post until next year.

This week we sat down Justice and Home Affairs Minister Jane Poole-Wilson and DHA CEO Dan Davies to discuss how the island goes about appointing a new Chief and what sort of person they are looking for. The new top cop will take home a cool £146,000.

With current Chief Gary Roberts set to retire at the end of this year, the island’s next top cop won’t be formally in place for a short while. However, Mr Davies said that the gov expects to able to announce who they will be much sooner than that, giving them an opportunity to ease the transition, but also to learn about policing the Isle of Man.

He said: ‘We’re hoping to have somebody in place before the TT, not actually in post, but named and we would certainly encourage any candidate to come here, even if they’re not in post yet, to observe and experience the TT because one of the unique roles of the constabulary here is to police upwards of 30,000 people coming to the island to ride their bikes, to watch the TT and have a good time. It’s a really unique policing operation that is done, with really very small numbers, considering the size of the crowd.

‘The current Chief Constable retires on December 31 2022, so we hope to have somebody in place probably towards the end of the year to allow a little bit of a handover before the current Chief retires.’

Not Your Average Beat

As the area in the British Isles with the lowest crime rate, the new Chief Constable, whoever he or she is, will be inheriting a Constabulary which is facing a growing number of challenges, but also one which plays a different role to forces in many neighbouring areas.

Mrs Poole-Wilson said: ‘Part of the role here, particularly if you’re from off-island, is to understand our community and to understand what a critical role you have in the community on the island. I think another part of that is the interface with politicians, the scrutiny aspect and being able to understand how to interface with the community and the political realm and helping us as politicians and everyone to understand the emerging challenges and how in a jurisdiction like this we can best formulate policy and approach to address them.’

The Minister also outlined that the island doesn’t have endless resources so the new Chief will also have to be someone who can deliver in an ever difficult space for the Constabulary, facing ever increasing demand. She said that the police evolve to ‘reflect the demands of the emerging threats to come forward’. And added: ‘There is no question that it will always be a challenging position because as I say we don’t have bottomless resources and there are a range of challenges and policing areas that we need to meet. We are the safest place to live in the British Isles and I think to maintain that is critical.’

Mr Davies added: ‘There has to be an expectation, from any candidate, that they will be much more visible in the community because we are a small island and they need to expect that.’

New Powers

The new Chief will also come in at a time when the police are gaining new powers through legislation such as the Domestic Abuse Act and the Sexual Offences and Obscene Publications Act. Mr Davies said that as well as this, the rise in online crime and the continuing issue of gangs from north-west England targeting the island.

While Gary Roberts is staying in post until the end of the year, Mrs Poole-Wilson also took this opportunity to praise his work since he took over as Chief and for his dedication to policing on the island.

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