A policeman who has become an internet sensation with his quirky stories about his beat on the idyllic Isles of Scilly has now published a book.
Sergeant Colin Taylor has got more than 54,000 followers on Facebook thanks to his wry take on life patrolling of the UK’s outposts.
The 49 year-old dad-of-two described his memoirs as “Heartbeat but less frenetic” and said his stories were “silly, but true”.
They include the time he thought he had uncovered a major drugs smuggler only to discover that kilos of ‘cocaine’ he’d found were mozzarella.
Other oddball cases include the mystery of the dumped goldfish, hunting for burglars who left fried eggs calling cards, dealing with a stray seal in the high street, and calming drunken chefs rowing over salt.
He has also encountered a short-sighted horse vandalising cars and acted as peacemaker in a 50-year-old row over a shed.
Sgnt Taylor said his job has also involved hitchhiking across the islands to arrest people and being stopped on his weekly shop by locals with lost property queries.
He says he was even invited by one islander to smoke some cannabis.
The officer, who started his 20-year career in Exeter, has policed the low-crime island for five years now and is moving back to Devon.
He said: “I’ve had a very, very unique role.
“It’s peaceful and crime is low but there are still problems. We are all humans and we’re still fallible.
“The Isles are a lovely to police – it’s a great community where everyone knows everyone.
“I’m privileged to have lived there.”
He added: “The book is a glimpse into the community on those crazy rocks and about trying to apply laws that are generated by our politicians on the mainland.
“A lot has happened. I’d been patrolling late at night when I got back to the police station at two in the morning.
“As I went to open the door, there was a bone-dry goldfish on the floor. I immediately thought about CPR.
“I put it in the sink and thought what on earth is a goldfish doing here at 2am?
“There was no obvious explanation and I found a pond to put it in.
“Two weeks later it happened again.
“It turns out it was because of the station cat, Rocky.”
In another incident he thought he had come across a huge drugs bust.
He said: “A yacht being sailed across the Atlantic ended up at our isles.
“It got dragged into St Mary’s Port and I was asked to go abroad to search it.
“I introduced myself and did the search, the man had very little food – other than some mouldy pate.
“I looked into the fridge and found two kilos of South American cocaine!
“The sailor – a very nice bloke – seemed unfazed by this and told me that it was just mozzarella.
“It didn’t look like cheese and I thought it was the drug haul of my life.
“Turns out that while on his travels, some other boatmen had given him mozzarella.
“He didn’t even want to eat it.”
Sometimes the logistics of working on the isles turned into an adventure.
He added: “I had an incident where I had to go to another island where there was an assault.
“But there were force nine gales – it was very windy.
“A local boatman could not even get me there so I had to wait hours before getting there. That sort of thing would not happen in an urban environment.
“On another occasion I had to hitchhike across three islands.
“I then had to use a child’s bike to do the rest of the journey. By the time I got to the man and breathalysed him, I had to take him back as a drink driver – while hitchhiking.
“How many policemen have to hitchhike?”
In funnier anecdotes, Taylor explained how he would have to make sure his wife obeyed by the parking rules and how he locked himself in a cell after Rocky the cat brought back a dead bird.
He also talks about juggling bomb disposals with weddings and dressing up as the island Santa Claus.
“I have enjoyed it, it’s been a lot of fun but you’re never off duty,” he said.
The book, Life of a Scilly Sergeant, is published by Century and available to buy today (June 16).