‘There is crime on Colonsay’ – warning from ‘self-policing’ island’s former constable


The man escaped with a three figure sum of money.

A FORMER special constable has blasted Police Scotland for leaving a Scottish island without cover in the middle of a mini-crime wave.

Yasmin Milburn stepped down as Colonsay’s only police officer in July after bosses told her she was no longer needed because the island was largely “self policing”.

But mainland detectives are now investigating a serious assault on Colonsay at the weekend and a recent tyre-slashing case remains unsolved.

Ms Milburn hit the headlines after it emerged the victim of the tyre-slashing was her own partner. A neighbour then complained she had donned her police uniform during a row over his late-night use of an angle grinder.

Ms Milburn, who has not previously commented on the controversy, broke her silence on Tuesday night in a letter to the to the island’s community council meeting.

The 52-year-old, who has not previously commented on the controversy, told islanders she wanted to “preserve my integrity”.

She wrote: “I swore on oath of the 19th of June and resigned on the 24th of July after being told I was no longer needed on Colonsay.

“I was getting conflicting instructions and acted at all times according to those instructions.”


She added: “People need to be aware that there is crime on Colonsay and it’s clear to me that people want policing.”

Ms Milburn said there were a “number of unsolved cases” which will have to be picked up by officers in Oban.

Turning to her detractors on the Hebridean island, she wrote: “Do not believe the untruths people are saying against me, such as second home owners with their own agendas.”

Ms Milburn received an email from her bosses in Oban on July 23 – the day before she resigned – in which she was effectively told to step down.

A senior officer wrote: “I don’t want you to feel under any pressure to try and provide policing in Colonsay which, to be honest, self-polices most of the time. That suits the island and ourselves.”

Locals say that before this summer’s events, the worst crime on Colonsay had been in 2006 when a visiting construction worker stole £60 from the home of an elderly man.

Before that, the biggest crime had been the theft of potatoes a quarter of a century ago.


But police are now investigating allegations of a serious assault at the Colonsay Hotel on Saturday night.

It is understood that there was a dispute between a local and a worker from off the island in which a man suffered a broken jaw.

It was outside the same hotel in July that Ms Milburn’s partner, Trevor Crowe, had all four tyres on his £25,000 Land Rover slashed. Mr Crowe had been involved in an argument with other drinkers the same night.

Ms Milburn is understood to be from the north-east of England and a friend, who asked not to be named, said this could explain the attention she had received.

“It appears to be a personal vendetta against her,” said the friend. “She was only doing as she was told and now she has had to resign and we are without an officer.

“Maybe it is because she was the first female special constable and the traditional members of the Island felt threatened.

“She wasn’t the first outsider to take the role so I believe that is personal and they should have done more to help her and the community.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A complaint was received and a full investigation has since been carried out.

“Ms Millburn is no longer a serving special constable with Police Scotland.”

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