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New Year's Honours: Highlands are a safer place thanks to officer


By Louise Glen


Mel Fowler...Picture: Gary Anthony..
Mel Fowler...Picture: Gary Anthony..

A police officer who has made the Highlands a safer place to live thanks to his counter terrorism work will be made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Year's honours list.

Robert "Mel" Fowler (53) has been given the honour for services to law and order, and in particular his ground-breaking work as a counter terrorism strategy liaison officer.

Serving for 31 years as an officer in the Highlands he retired in April and said his work was about bringing together partners around the table, and getting people to think differently about terrorism in the Highlands, and to see it as a real risk.

The commendation for his MBE states: "Scotland is a much safer place thanks to his counter-terrorism expertise.

"He has developed a significant knowledge of terrorist and extremist organisations and the factors which lead to a person becoming radicalised.

"He is recognised as an expert and has been invited to speak on the topic to law enforcement and academic audiences. He was appointed to the role as counter terrorism strategy liaison officer for the Highlands and Islands in 2015 and has worked assiduously to support the UK and Scottish Government’s policies in relation to counter terrorism.

"Over the past three years he has developed a multi-agency structure, viewed as ground-breaking. He has brought together partners from a range of organisations to support the delivery of the strategy.

"He worked with the four local authority areas to develop an effective table top exercise around the Prevent programme. He created and delivered training packages to support Local Contest Liaison Officers (LCLO)."



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