Olympic ‘hostage and crisis’ role for chief inspector

WHAT happens in the nightmare scenario that someone is taken hostage by a terrorist group during the Olympic Games?

Or what if someone is threatening to take their own life and needs, with the spotlight of the world’s media on London for the sporting event, a calm and reassuring person to talk them down?

One man who might have to step in to handle those tense situations is Boston Chief Insp Paul Timmins, who will be on standby as a hostage and crisis negotiator for the Games, which begins on July 27.

Chief Insp Timmins performs the role for Lincolnshire having completed the world-renowned Metropolitan Police training course, which he did alongside FBI officers from America.

Chief Insp Timmins has been called in to action several times since and says he has helped talk about a dozen people around from taking their lives.

The most recent time in Boston saw him persuade someone not to cut their wrists with a knife – and previously stopped people leaping off high buidlings, jumping into the river and overdosing on tablets.

He was also on the scene during a stand-off in Sutton St James on the Lincolnshire border where a man fired a gun at police.

With that experience, Chief Insp Timmins says he won’t be too daunted should the call come from the Olympic organisers.

Chief Insp Timmins said: “I am never too worried about it.

“It’s a great feeling when you have convinced somebody to stop doing whatever they’re planning to do to harm themselves and get help.

“I have been on jobs that have taken longer than a day to resolve. I’ve spent 10 hours talking to somebody. It can be hard but the aim is always to save lives and get the person help.”