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Sheep, low crime... and bombs. Falklands seeks new Police Chief

It has more sheep than residents, a complicated history and snows from April to October. Who?d be the Falkland Islands next Chief of Police?
Published - 10/09/2021 By - Chris Smith

It’s a place where the COVID-19 lockdown has been barely noticed. Big news has been a Landrover being stolen.

There are stunning views and no over-crowding. Being Chief of Police is described by the board as “an exciting opportunity”.

But there’s a catch. The location is the furthest outpost of the British government, on the other side of the Equator.

The Falkland Islands is now considering applicants to lead its force of 35 officers and four civilians.

With the £50,771 comes responsibility for everything from safeguarding to firearms.

The Island’s government said: “An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Royal Falkland Islands Police for a positive and dynamic Chief of Police to join the team. This is a four year contract and the Directorate is keen to appoint as soon as possible.”

It’s a unique role; the community of 2,563 people are out-numbered by 490,000 sheep and countless penguins. Among the inhabitants are families who can trace their heritage back through nine generations.

But the weather is brutal with snow from April through to October.

The capital, Stanley, is home to 2,115 people, with 194 across East Falkland, 477 at Mount Pleasant, 127 on West Falkland and 42 spread through the numerous outer islands .

But there are special responsibilities that also come with the place that was fought for following the invasion by Argentina in 1982.

There are regular halts to activity as legacy ordinance from the war is found and made safe.

Next year will be the fortieth anniversary of the conflict and as a result the successful applicant will have significant work to facilitate memorial events, media and more.

The specifics of the role are familiar to most officers – and the island’s government is likely to look at a Superintendent as a successful candidate.

The priority is to: “Continue to modernise the service and ensure practices are current and relevant, embedding best practice in all aspects of policing. This includes reviewing, monitoring, developing and implementing effective policies, procedures and practices in relation to intelligence, security and operational matters in order to preserve the peace, prevent and detect crime and protect the public.”

But the community has, according to its website, a job description of their own that the new Chief will need to meet: “The Falkland Islanders are a peaceful, hard-working and resilient people. Our society is thriving and forward-looking.

"All we ask is to be left in peace to choose our own future, and responsibly develop our home for our children and generations to come. We would ask that our rights, our points of view and above all our wishes are respected and considered by all.”

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