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MBE for Inverness terrorism expert

By Louise Glen

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Robert “Mel” Fowler. Picture: Gary Anthony
Robert “Mel” Fowler. Picture: Gary Anthony

A POLICE officer who has made the Highlands and islands a safer place to live thanks to his counter terrorism work was made an Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Robert “Mel” Fowler (53), from Culloden, 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 in the Highlands.

Serving for more than 30 years as a police officer, before retiring in February, Mr Fowler 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. Known as the Prevent agenda, his role was to challenge the ideology that supports terrorism, to protect vulnerable people and to support institutions where there are risks of radicalisation.

Mr Fowler said: “I’m humbled at being nominated for such an award.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a number of really good colleagues, many who would also be worthy of such an award.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to those working within the partner agencies who enthusiastically embraced the meaning of the Prevent agenda as part of the counter terrorism strategy.

“It is only by working together and working collaboratively that communities will defeat the threat we face from terrorism.

“Often the public will think that there are fewer risks in the Highlands and islands when it comes to terrorism, my job was to get people to think about those people who might become radicalised.”

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.

“His work is viewed as ground-breaking.”

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