Meet the ‘restorative justice’ policing champion

Jim Tyner, the newly appointed South Holland Community inspector. Photo: SG251012-116NG
Jim Tyner, the newly appointed South Holland Community inspector. Photo: SG251012-116NG
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Police inspector Jim Tyner is a champion of “restorative justice”, which means petty offenders put right their wrong without going to court.

But he’s not a soft touch.

Insp Tyner (49) is switching seats from the Spalding-based response inspector role to South Holland community inspector – and his passion for catching crooks remains as strong as ever.

He says: “I still get a buzz when we arrest someone.

“I still get a buzz when we have caught someone who has done wrong or we have prevented someone from doing wrong.”

Insp Tyner describes his three main aims as:

• pursuing target criminals

• providing the best service we can

• doing the right thing.

As response inspector, Insp Tyner’s area stretched up through Lincolnshire as far north as Louth and Mablethorpe and inland to Horncastle – and he coordinated police responses to emergency calls.

Now he will focus on South Holland alone and says he is determined the whole district will be policed.

“We have limited resources and so it’s about putting those resources in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Crowland and Sutton Bridge and Donington deserve the same police presence as Spalding town centre does.”

Spalding Police Station lost its police cells almost two years ago and all prisoners arrested in South Holland are taken to the custody suite at Boston.

Early next year, Spalding’s custody suite will temporarily re-open for perhaps two to three months while Boston’s custody suite is extended and revamped to boost the number of cells from ten to 14.

Although it has no permanent role in detaining prisoners, Insp Tyner says: “Spalding Police Station is here to stay.”

South Holland has more restorative justice cases than other parts of Lincolnshire, but Insp Tyner says that has nothing to do with the cells being in another town.

“Restorative justice is the only criminal justice outcome that reduces re-offending,” he says. “It meets the needs of the victim and, from sound business sense, it reduces our workload.”

An example would be a teenager stealing a Mars bar from the corner shop.

Restorative justice would see the offender pay the shopkeeper for the chocolate bar, write a letter of apology and perhaps sweep up outside the shop for a week.

Insp Tyner worked for John Lewis in Peterborough when he became a special constable in Spalding in 1982 and then left the store as menswear department manager in 1992 to join the regulars. He became sergeant in 2000 and inspector in 2007.

He’s spent much of his working life in Spalding although he’s had spells away as temporary chief inspector with the National Policing Improvement Agency, working with the Home Office, and at county police headquarters.

As a special he patrolled local streets on foot – and will continue to do that in the top job.