Royal Montserrat Police Service officials - (from left to right): Acting Deputy Commissioner, Mr Sean Troy Perera; Acting Commissioner, Ms Pam Trevillion; and Superintendent, Ms Jessica Sweeney.

Montserrat’s Top Cops are All Foreign Made – How Do We Bring Those Jobs Home?

When Commissioner Steve Foster retired in March 2023, it was the first time in 16 years that the most senior position in the Royal Montserrat Police Service was not held by a Montserratian.

In the months leading up to his retirement, several senior members of the service were sent on mandatory retirement by Governor Sarah Tucker. This she said would make room for other officers to be promoted.

While there have been promotions, including that of Inspector Jessica Sweeney to Superintendent, the two most senior roles have gone to police officers from the United Kingdom and other British Overseas Territories. Charles Thompson, who was previously Deputy Commissioner is now Head of the Immigration Department, which has been moved under the auspices of Office of the Premier.

The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police positions were open for international recruitment.

In March 2023, Dr. Nick Caveney from the Hertfordshire Constabulary was brought in as the Acting Commissioner of Police.

In December 2023, Robin Hall of Cambridgeshire Constabulary was announced as the substantive Commissioner of Police.

However, Hall has been notably absent from the island and said to be “in the UK on police business”.

On January 4, 2023, Pam Trevillion was announced as the Acting Commissioner of Police. Trevillion was on secondment from the British Virgin Islands Police Service and the move presented to the public by Governor Tucker as “a positive demonstration of the collective commitment to build capacity and capability across the region and share our expertise where we can.”

On March 8, 2024, Sean Troy Perera was sworn in as Acting Deputy Commissioner of the RMPS. Perera is a Royal Gibraltar Police Officer and is a tactical firearms commander and is to be in office until March 29. He was Acting Police Commissioner from March 9 to 14.

Governor Tucker said at the time of his swearing in “I am grateful to the Royal Gibraltar Police for extending their support to Montserrat. This is a further opportunity for British Overseas Territories to collaborate and work together.”

Past queries to enquire about promotions of staff members and also what police business Commissioner Hall is away on has been met with lots of double speak about private HR matters and security concerns. However, four months into a role and the commissioner of record is not performing his duties in Montserrat.

The Royal Montserrat Police Service has approximately 90 officers in its complement plus support staff. The RMPC Commissioner role also has responsibilities for the island’s Fire and Rescue Services, Head of the Ambulance Service and Traffic Commissioner.

While the RMPS conducts police training on island, the service has suffered from a high turnover of officers, some transitioning to other local jobs within the public service and others to better policing opportunities abroad. More communication to the public is needed from the RMPS and the Governor’s Office on what are the plans to improve the police service for officers and also to ensure that there is opportunity for more local officers to attain senior roles. It would also be important to see that our officers are given the same opportunities to work in other territories to build capacity which will position them with the requisite skills to bring the senior jobs back to Montserratians.