Chief Constable Gary Roberts is retiring from the force today after 39 years’ service.

Mr Roberts was appointed to the role in 2012.

He is the only Manx person to hold the position and is the longest serving chief constable in the British Isles.

Since he became chief constable, the island has often been cited as having the lowest crime rate in the British Isles.

Throughout his career he has been involved in every aspect of island policing, from high profile investigations and inspectorate reviews to managing press and the media, as well as policing the TT.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said: ‘Mr Roberts has been pivotal in each of his roles, from police constable to chief constable.

‘He has managed some of the most challenging issues faced by the island, from being the first chief since the Second World War to manage a budget cut to making fundamental adjustments to the running of the constabulary.

‘He has assisted in bringing murderers and rapists to justice, managing media for the Solway Harvester tragedy and the double murders of two young people in care.’

Mr Roberts has led the policing for several high profile royal visits as well as the policing response to the global pandemic and innumerable TT races.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Jane Poole-Wilson MHK said: ‘Our island owes an incredible thanks to Gary for the dedicated and exemplary service he’s given for almost 39 years.

‘There have been unprecedented changes, on island and globally, since Gary first began his career in policing.

‘He has approached all of those challenges pragmatically, with great leadership – shaping our constabulary to the benefit of all of our residents and visitors.’

Chief officer of the Department of Home Affairs Dan Davies said: ‘Throughout his career Gary has consistently demonstrated the values that he still expects of police officers joining the constabulary today.

‘That is, caring, humility, service and honesty.

‘Gary has had a remarkable record of public service and for that, the department, and the Isle of Man is hugely grateful.’

He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for exemplary service in 2020, and in 2022 was awarded The Hector Duff, Order of the British Empire (OBE), Military Medal (MM), British Empire Medal (BEM) and yhe Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Police Awards ceremony.

Mr Roberts said: ‘It has been a unique and special privilege to lead the Isle of Man Constabulary.

‘I have worked with some wonderful people, each of whom has been dedicated to serving the people of the Isle of Man.

‘I have led the constabulary through some really challenging times, but I was only able to do this because of the quality of the people with whom I worked.

‘This is a police service built on its values.

‘In many ways British policing is broken, but it is evident that the Isle of Man Constabulary remains close to the people of the island, by whom it is trusted.

‘For this, I am both grateful and very proud.’

Russ Foster will be replacing Mr Roberts as chief constable.

He joined the force in February to work alongside Mr Roberts ahead of his retirement.

Mr Foster will officially take up the position of chief constable from tomorrow, April 1.