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*New emergency number for police, fire and ambulance is 999*

All the usual police duties – plus an active volcano!


RGP officer Sean Perera is currently on the island of Montserrat where he has been covering for the local Commissioner of Police who is in the UK on police business.


A month on a beautiful Caribbean island sounds lovely but this particular British Overseas Territory is also home to an active volcano.


The Royal Montserrat Police Service has approximately 90 officers in its complement plus support staff  but, as Acting Commissioner, Mr Perera’s responsibilities also include the island’s Fire and Rescue Services, being Head of the Ambulance Service and being the Traffic Commissioner.


In 1995, Montserrat’s Soufriere Hills volcano erupted after centuries of inactivity.  In the following few years, there were several further eruptions causing molten lava to flow down the hillsides and to engulf several villages. 


In 1997, a major eruption killed 19 people, devastating the south of the island and burying the capital city, Plymouth. More than half Montserrat’s population left the island to live and work elsewhere.


Even today, the southern half of the island is still an exclusion zone, which is regularly patrolled by officers of the Montserrat police, with the support of other local agencies.


Acting Commissioner Perera said,


‘This is a beautiful island which is still recovering from the eruptions of the 1990s and which is constantly being monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.


‘Montserrat has its own charm and I have been able to witness a good community spirit and the warmth of its people. In the short time I have been here, I have felt well received by all officers of the RMPS. This is a relatively a young workforce who are committed to providing a professional police service to their community and to keeping Montserrat safe’.