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Islington Tribune - by ROISIN GADELRAB
Published: 12 June 2009

Bob Carr in his former role as borough commander
From top-cop Bob... to Rob the plumber

Last month he bowed out as borough commander, now he fits solar heating systems

WITH 30 years’ service in the police under his belt, you would not expect Islington’s borough commander Bob Carr to jack it all in to become a plumber.
But Mr Carr, who retired last month, has rebranded himself “Rob” and set up his own business fitting solar thermal heating systems which produce hot water from the sun.
He has taken a plumbing course and teamed up with a friend who used to run a marketing and advertising business in Islington. They have set up shop as Solinvictus, named after a Roman group of sun worshippers.
Mr Carr said: “It’s completely and utterly different. I’m running my own business. We’re doing all of it. Right at the moment it’s all hands on deck.”
The heating systems are imported from Shanghai. “We’re installing them, making sure it’s all working and doing our marketing and advertising at the same time,” he said.
Although his green credentials may not have been apparent while in command of Islington’s 1,000-strong police force, he now hopes to spread his solar power message throughout the borough.
Mr Carr said: “Fossil fuels are running out and it’s something I feel passionately about. We’re heading for a global meltdown and I’m moving from one area where I can make a difference to another.”
He even hopes that in a couple of years he can persuade police to switch his old office in Tolpuddle Street, Islington, to solar energy.
Mr Carr believes the skills he learned as borough commander have left him well placed to run his own business. “Being a borough commander is just like running a big business, you need to communicate, deal with people, be familiar with customer satisfaction, health and safety and finances,” he said.
He’s happy with his new role. “It’s completely different,” he said. “I didn’t really want to step away from such a high-profile, challenging and rewarding role into something less.
“You might say I’m just crawling around someone’s attic but it’s my own business. If I’d been a consultant or working in the security arm of a big company that would have been something less. I could have made more money doing that but life’s not about money.”
Islington police are said to have chosen Mr Carr’s replacement but are not yet prepared to announce the appointment. To find out more about Mr Carr’s new direction see

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