First crime recorded on Colonsay for seven years

The Isle of Colonsay hotel. Picture: Allan MilliganThe Isle of Colonsay hotel. Picture: Allan Milligan
The Isle of Colonsay hotel. Picture: Allan Milligan
THE only police officer on a tiny Scottish island is investigating the community’s biggest crime for years – and the victim is her boyfriend.

A month ago Yasmin Milburn was appointed special constable on tranquil Colonsay, where the last police investigation of any note involved a minor theft – seven years ago.

But Ms Milburn is now on the trail of vandals who slashed all four tyres on her partner’s Land Rover, causing damage worth at least £500.

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Trevor Crowe was involved in a heated exchange with fellow drinkers at the island’s only hotel last Saturday night. Ms Milburn turned up to the Colonsay Hotel in civilian clothes and took him home.

But the next morning she went back to the hotel in uniform after discovering the attack on his £25,000 Land Rover 
Defender, the same model featured in the Bond movie Skyfall.

The attack meant his vehicle was left jacked up outside the hotel for days while new tyres – costing around £125 each – were shipped across from the mainland.

Crime is extremely rare on Colonsay, which has a population of just 120 and is only 17 square miles.

Ms Milburn is also the owner of the Hebridean Isles Trading Company, which sells items including wool, knitwear, and handwoven products.

Mr Crowe runs a firm called Global Language Solutions Ltd which offers Dutch-English translation. The couple also run a B&B.

One local who was at the hotel on Saturday night, and who asked not to be named, said: “There seemed to be a bit of a dispute between Trevor and a group of guys. Things got quite heated and it looked as though it was going to get out of hand.

“Yasmin came to get Trevor and took him home. It was only in the morning that he found his nearly new Land Rover had all four of its tyres slashed.”

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The local added: “It is ironic that the new island police officer’s first job is to investigate a crime against her partner.

“The Land Rover’s had to be jacked up and all four wheels sent to the mainland to have the tyres replaced and then send them back again. It must have cost a fortune.”


Hotel manager Ivan Lisovyy said: “Trevor was standing at the bar having an argument.

“They went outside to continue their argument, then Yasmin arrived to try and calm him down.

“She came in the following morning in her uniform, asking questions and investigating.”

Mr Lisovyy, originally from Ukraine, added: “This is the first incident like this in years, totally unexpected. It is usually very quiet.

“The last crime I heard of was 40 years ago and involved potatoes.”

In fact, the last recorded crime on Colonsay was in 2006 when a visitor admitted stealing £60 from the home of an elderly resident.

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Asked to comment on the incident, Ms Milburn replied: “I can’t – anything I say could jeopardise any further inquiries.” Mr Crowe refused to comment.

The island comes under the control of Oban North and Lorn Police, which oversees the area. Their policing goals include reducing antisocial behaviour “fuelled by excessive consumption of alcohol that is affecting the quality of life within the community”.

Another local, who also asked not to be named, said: “Yasmin is the first outsider to be given the police job, the last four specials have all been people who have been here forever.

“It’s a hard job to balance law enforcement with living in a quiet community where things that would not happen on the mainland are common here, because of the special circumstances of living in such a remote island.

“There certainly is no place for this sort of activity in a place like Colonsay, where we all work hard to get on with each other and make the island as good as it can be for whoever decides to settle here.”

A spokeswoman from Police Scotland said: “A case of a car having its tyres slashed was reported to police on Sunday morning.

“No arrests have been made at this time, investigations are ongoing.”

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