Police failure ‘disappointing’

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Spalding’s new community inspector has expressed disappointment “police incompetence” was identified for it taking six years to arrest a drunken motorist who caused a head-on collision.

Renatas Bartisius (43), of Willowherd Close, March, had been drinking at a friend’s house in Spalding when he got behind the wheel of his car in May 2007 and veered into the wrong side of the A151 at Weston, trapping the drivers in their vehicles.

Police only took the decision to charge Bartisius seven months after the accident, by which time they were then unable to find him. He was given an eight-month suspended sentence rather than being sent straight to prison.

Judge James Sampson said “There is here a degree of police incompetence mixed in perhaps with a measure of evasion.”

Inspector Jim Tyner, of Spalding police, said: “I am, of course, disappointed that the judge has identified what they have described as police incompetence.

“It would appear the initial investigation was thorough, but there were some poor administrative processes.

“The procedures in place to trace and bring to justice outstanding offenders have been greatly improved since this offence was committed.

“Checks are now carried out as a matter of routine and are more easily accessible to my officers.

“It is to the credit of the investigating officer that they demonstrated tenacity and Mr Bartisius was eventually brought to justice.”