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Hebrides islands’ one and only response officer receives QPM

Officer with 30 years’ service recognised for ‘challenging and unique policing role’

A PC who has been the only officer covering the Hebridean islands of Coll and Tiree for the last 12 years has received the Queen’s Police Medal.

PC Stephen Tanner, who is 51, received his award from the Princess Royal at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Wednesday.  

The citation on the medal states: ‘At times, due to poor weather there will be no ferry services running and constable Tanner can find himself the only person responding to calls from members of the public for a number of days.

‘This is undoubtedly a very challenging and unique policing role. As the only officer on the island Constable Tanner is very much a 24/7 police officer who is frequently recalled to duty to assist members of the local community and tourists visiting the island. He makes himself available and accessible across all groups.’

He travelled to Edinburgh to collect his award with his partner Lorna MacArthur, and proud niece Ruby MacArthur, nine, and nephew Hector MacArthur, 11.

PC Tanner, an officer with 30 years of service, said: “I think we’re all honoured, it came as a total surprise to be awarded the medal or even to be nominated for the medal, so it was a very big surprise and I’m obviously honoured.”

Ms MacArthur, 60, who has been with the officer for 25 years, added: “It’s really nice that he has got it. It’s well deserved.”

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