ON THE BEAT: With Inspector Jim Tyner
This is my last weekly column before I depart for Skegness. My home is still in Spalding and my promotion to East Lindsey is a temporary one, so I expect to return.
However, 25 years of policing has taught me that you can never plan too far ahead or know which way your career is going to take you.
I feel very privileged to have been the Community Policing Inspector for South Holland and to have been the spokesperson for the hard-working officers based at Spalding and Holbeach police stations.
My weekly columns in this paper were intended to shed light on some of the hidden aspects of policing, including fatal collisions and policing the night-time economy, and to add a human aspect to many policing issues such as our interaction with people suffering mental health crises, teenage runaways and domestic abuse
I hope that readers might now have a better understanding of why police officers might not always be visibly on patrol.
The police don’t have all the answers and social media has given people a voice
But although not always visible, they haven’t been idle. There have been 2,500 arrests in South Holland over the past two years. Some of the significant arrests that spring to mind include the arrest and conviction of Ben Courtney for robbery in Francis Street. There was also the investigation that led to Kristaps Vilcins and Olegs Nijolavjevs being jailed for 10 years for armed robbery.
A lot of work behind the scenes resulted in Ryan Stanberry being jailed for eight-and-a-half years for inflicting grievous bodily harm in a pool cue attack. Daniel Holyoak was recently sentenced to nine months for assaulting his former partner. Support for victims of domestic abuse has always been one of my personal priorities.
I was particularly proud of my officers’ commitment to Operation Warrington; the dispersal order that was put in place last summer to combat anti-social behaviour in Ayscoughfee and The Vista. The feedback from residents and workers was that this made a significant difference to their lives.
My officers don’t work in isolation. A lot of their work is in partnership with the council’s ASB team, licensing department and environmental protection team. This has led to success in closing down raves at Centenary Way, Sutton Bridge, and in the seizure of sound equipment in Seagate Terrace, Long Sutton.
Work with the Home Office Immigration Service has led to the removal of some people who caused the most harm to our community:
· Lukasz Jalocha was arrested and charged within 36 hours of a shoe-shop burglary. After a term of imprisonment he was removed from the UK.
· Mantas Kizevicius was jailed for 30 weeks for theft and drug offences. He has now been removed from the UK.
· Pavel Zukovs was jailed for 2 years for a series of burglaries. At the end of his imprisonment, he was deported for 10 years.
· Dawid Szumlanski , a persistent street drinker and shoplifter, was removed from the UK for one year.
These people weren’t targeted because of their nationality but because of their criminality.
There are other investigations that I can’t talk about because they are going through the judicial process. These include the tragic murder of Warren Free and the series of burglary arrests linked to Operation Bonus. I’m sure my successor, Inspector Jo Reeves, will keep you updated on these.
I won’t forget Wednesday, October 8, 2014, for a long time. This was the day that the F15 crashed in Weston Hills. I remain incredibly proud of how officers responded to this exceptional event. Having already completed their shift, they worked long hours in difficult circumstances. No one moaned; no one demurred from their duty.
Society has changed and policing has had to change to reflect this. That is exactly how it should be.
“The police are the public and the public are the police.” Sir Robert Peel’s most often quoted principle is even more relevant in the age of social media.
Community policing needs to remain the cornerstone of our modern police service. It works because of the ongoing relationship between us, the public we serve and other key organisations whom we work with on a daily basis. I truly believe that. That’s why I started using Twitter.
One-in-six people in the UK now use Twitter. For many of our community, you can shop online, bank online, then why not communicate with the police online as well? It wasn’t long before I started to see the benefits.
The police don’t have all the answers and social media has given people a voice. This made it particularly pleasing when I received a national police award for ‘best individual tweeting officer’ nominated by local people.
I knew we were getting it right when someone wrote ‘You and your PCSOs are changing Spalding and Twitter gets the message out there.’
I have received a lot of favourable (and a few unfavourable) comments about my weekly columns over the past year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every reader that has taken time to respond to my many articles.
We have discussed diverse issues including crime recording, restorative justice, street-drinking laws, cyclists and anti-social behaviour. I am genuinely grateful for people’s comments as this has allowed me to see how our 21st Century policing services are perceived by our community.
Remember, whether I am writing or tweeting about it or not, great police work continues across South Holland every day.
I give Inspector Jo Reeves my very best wishes. She is inheriting the best team of enthusiastic, committed, and hard-working officers I have ever worked with.
Now, where did I put my bucket and spade?