Spalding police on city riot duty

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SPALDING police toughened the thin blue line in London and Nottingham as rioters rampaged through the cities last week.

A sergeant and two constables from Spalding were among a 30-strong detachment from Lincolnshire Police who were sent to London as violence, destruction and looting engulfed the capital.

Spalding’s sector inspector, Paul Timmins, led a team of three sergeants and 21 constables deployed to Nottingham at 10.30pm on Tuesday as a city centre police station was petrol bombed in a copycat riot.

Insp Timmins said: “Myself and all the officers I was working with that day put in a 24-hour shift.

“We were there as a visible reassurance and presence on the streets.”

The inspector is yet to have a first-hand briefing from his officers who went to London but says they were very much on the front-line for several days.

He said: “They were certainly involved in dealing with the large scale riots that were going on.

“Certainly, from our point of view, we are very proud to have taken part and helping to secure London.

“But equally it’s sad to see that we had problems last week.

“What started out as a lawful, peaceful protest in Tottenham then, for one reason or another, turned into just wanton violence, destruction and theft.

“Clearly what was going on in Nottingham was a copycat of what was going on in London.

“There was nobody in Nottingham with any reason to do what they were doing.”

Insp Timmins said the most serious trouble in Nottingham had died down by the time his team were on the streets.

Officers initially gathered in Lincoln and responded to Nottingham’s call for reinforcements at 10.30pm. They remained on the streets until 4am on Wednesday.

Insp Timmins said none of the Lincolnshire officers was reported injured in the troubles.