On The Beat with Inspector Jim Tyner
During the small hours of last Wednesday morning an incident developed in Sutton Bridge while most of us were still in bed. The incident demonstrated to me of a lot of the things about Lincolnshire Police that I am proud of.
For operational and legal reasons there are many aspects of that incident that I can’t discuss. You will already know from media announcements that following the incident a 35-year-old local man was interviewed.
After examining all the evidence, the investigating team used their professional judgment and no further action will be taken. While this may frustrate some readers, I cannot discuss this decision in detail.
I would hope that in recent months my weekly articles have demonstrated sound judgment and a wide breadth of policing experience. I ask you to trust my judgment when I say that I absolutely agree with this decision. And just to put another tiresome myth to bed: although no further action will be taken, we still record a crime, so there’s no “fiddling” of crime figures!
Officers were initially called to a domestic incident involving threats of serious violence. No one was injured. As I have alluded to in previous articles about domestic abuse, we don’t always know all the facts when we arrive at an incident and have to make decisions in fast-moving circumstances.
Our main aim at any incident is to ensure the safety and well-being of all those involved (including the police officers) and the wider public. This is the same for every incident: the only thing that differs is how many resources are needed to achieve that aim.
With the facts as we knew them at the time, it was appropriate that we treated this incident seriously.
Of course, the decision to cordon off a street and to deploy specialist officers is not one that is taken lightly. There are lots of checks and balances in our procedures to ensure that what we are doing is proportionate.
One of the things that I am proud of is how we scale up to an incident. Apart from two police officers, three PCSOs and me, the rest of the officers involved came from other parts of the county. This is something we do really well, and it means that we are still able to provide a service elsewhere.
Something else I’m really proud of is the professionalism of everyone involved. The specialist officers are highly trained and were calm and professional. The PCSOs went door to door in Withington Street, providing calming reassurance. As I watched them, it was obvious that they knew their community and their community knew them. This is community policing at its best.
As I write this column, I am reading an article headlined: “Granny praises police in armed incident.” The anonymous pensioner describes officers calmly leading people to safety and checking on people’s welfare.
It is to everyone’s credit – the officers at the scene and the decision-makers in the Major Incident Room – that the incident ended peacefully and Sutton Bridge was able to return to normal.
But this was just one of many incidents dealt with that day. Whilst all eyes were on this incident, other officers were carrying out an anti-ASB operation in Spalding (which has also been the subject of public praise).
At the same time, the mobile police station was involved in crime prevention work in Whaplode, a man was arrested in a stolen car on the A17, an uninsured Volvo was seized in Haverfield Road, Spalding, and officers dealt with a tragic fatality at a farm premises in Spalding.
Last Wednesday we had 51 incidents reported in South Holland, including three other domestic abuse cases, four concerns for welfare, three missing persons and two road collisions.
Each of these incidents could be an article in itself. In previous weeks I have described the skills needed for different occasions.
All of these incidents needed different skills but all involved the same level of professionalism and dedication that makes me so proud of South Holland’s PCs and PCSOs.
I think, however, I shall leave the last word to the anonymous Sutton Bridge grandma, who said: “I am very proud of them and I think they handled it all very well.”