Matt Hale is appointed officer in charge at Williamstown

Recently appointed Officer in Charge of Williamstown Police Brevet Sergeant Matt Hale.

Recently appointed Officer in Charge of Williamstown Police Brevet Sergeant Matt Hale.

‘To tell you a little about myself – I was born and raised in the country in Northern Ireland before immigrating to Scotland where I became a police officer.

I spent 10 years serving in Police Scotland (formerly Strathclyde Police) in a number of different front line roles. I was a neighbourhood police officer based in Paisley, west of Glasgow.

I often performed high visibility policing duties such as foot and bike patrols of areas that had instances of anti-social behaviour and youth crime.

Despite the cold and wet weather in Scotland, I particularly enjoyed problem solving reoccurring community issues and finding long lasting resolutions.

In the UK police do not routine carry firearms on patrols.

During my service I was successful in taking on the added responsibilities as an armed police officer in several different roles.

I provided a police response to serious incidents often involving armed suspects.

I was also selected as a Close Protection Officer to provide protection to Royal and visiting dignitaries to Scotland. Notably, I had the honour of providing security to the Olympic Torch as it travelled throughout Scotland in 2012.

In 2010 we visited Australia and it changed our lives.

We were amazed of how family orientated it was.

Wanting the best for our family’s future we decided to make the leap across the pond.

In 2013 I graduated from South Australia Police Academy.

I was awarded the Communication Award for the course.

As an immigrant with a strong Northern Irish accent I am still quite amazed how that happened exactly.

For my first posting I volunteered to go country, seeing it as an opportunity to experience the outback lifestyle we had only previously seen on the television.

We set sail for Whyalla. It did not disappoint.

From a work perspective it was busy and varied and helped me to transition easily from UK policing to Australian policing. In addition, the town was a great place to bring up a family.

I was surprised to meet many Scottish people many of whom were pensioners that hailed from the towns I once policed in Scotland.

It really is a small world.

I was informed that many had immigrated to take up work making boilers for ships in Whyalla. This was also a main industry in Paisley decades ago.

After a few years there, we were keen to experience working remote and moved to Coober Pedy.

We spent a year in there, living in a cave (dugout), noodling for surface opals and chasing lizards around.

I also had the opportunity to go even further afield and policed Oodnadatta and beyond. It was an adventure that we always look back fondly upon.

I was then promoted to Officer in Charge of Lameroo Station in the South East. Lameroo is a country town with significant crop and livestock industries.

I provided a visible police presence on the Mallee Highway discouraging risky driving behaviours, such as not wearing seatbelts and speeding, to ensure people arrived safely at their destinations.

In this role I also promoted a zero tolerance attitude towards rural thefts, no matter how petty. After this posting I transferred to Roxby Downs, where at the time of writing I am currently based.

It seemed the allure of the red desert brought us back one final time.

In all my postings I have enjoyed contributing to the safety and wellbeing of the community.

I have been involved in Blue Light SA, Neighbourhood Watch, local police historical displays in conjunction with SA Police Historical Society and in recent years Aldi Mini-Roos youth soccer, as I still haven’t gotten to grips with Aussie Rules.

I am very excited about living and working in Williamstown, as is my family, and my wife hopes to work in childcare in the area. We look forward to putting down roots in such a beautiful area of the Barossa and calling it our home.

We anticipate arriving in March and look forward to meeting many of you in person.’

Brevet Sergeant Matt Hale, Williamstown Police Station