Steve is heading for Calypso beat

A LONG-serving employee at Suffolk police is today preparing for a career break - on the other side of the world.

Josh Warwick

A LONG-serving employee at Suffolk police is today preparing for a career break - on the other side of the world.

Steve Henry, the constabulary's corporate communications manager, will spend two years working in a similar role in the Caribbean republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

And while the year-long heat and sunshine will come as a welcome antidote to the British climate, the switch represents a major challenge.

Trinidad and Tobago boasts an unenviable record on murder, drug crime and kidnapping.

Mr Henry, 49, said: “The temperature is around 30C to 31C all year round and there is only a wet season and a dry season.

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“They are very laid back but they do have some very serious problems.

“In Suffolk, we average about five murders a year. The population of Trinidad and Tobago is double the size of Suffolk, but they had 400 murders last year.

“There are also some major issues with kidnapping and drugs.”

The position, which begins at the end of the month, is initially for two years, with the option of another 12 months.

Mr Henry, of Woodbridge, has been with Suffolk police for 17 years, having initially joined the force in 1991 as a deputy press officer.

He will be joined in Trinidad and Tobago by his wife, Manda, and children, Pippa, nine, and Casey, seven.

Mr Henry said: “My family are all really excited.

“It's a completely different culture. We will be a minority and they will have to learn a lot about a different way of living.

“We will be based just outside the capital, the Port of Spain, in an apartment.

“In this country we work to quite strict guidance as to what the media can and can't say. Most journalists are trained to a certain standard but I don't know what the situation is over there or even what the law is.

“It's a bit of a challenge, and it will certainly be very different.”

- Has your job involved working somewhere unusual abroad? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Trinidad and Tobago: FastFacts

- Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest countries in the Caribbean, thanks to its large reserves of oil and gas

- The country is a major transhipment point for cocaine and has become ridden with drug and gang-related violence

- In response, the government reintroduced capital punishment in 1999, despite strong international pressure

- Trinidad and Tobago hosts the Caribbean Court of Justice, a regional supreme court which aims to replace Britain's Privy Council as a final court of appeal

- Sighted by the explorer Christopher Columbus in 1498, Trinidad was settled by the Spanish before being taken by Britain in 1797. A succession of European powers laid claim to Tobago.

- The country has a population of 1.3 million men live, on average, to 68, and women to 72.

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