Boston town centre community beat manager PC Martyn Chambers bows out on a high with memories of a judge’s commendation for the day he chased a robber who was armed with a handgun.
Martyn, 52, was 100ft from the door of Thomson travel agents in Wide Bargate when a member of staff pressed a panic alarm.
He chased the robber to the nearby NCP car park and the man and his female accomplice were later caught because of descriptions he radioed to colleagues.
Martyn said: “He (the robber) looked incredibly surprised that I was there.
“I was incredibly surprised that he was still there because that very rarely happens and then, I think – training, instinct – they all took over, but at no point did I think of doing nothing. That was never a thought at all.
“I think the clear distress of the staff was probably the impetus for me wanting to catch him as quickly as possible.”
The gunman could have turned on Martyn at any point, but he says: “It didn’t cross my mind.”
That drama happened in September 2013. One previous commendation also involved firearms when his unmarked patrol car was hit by a vehicle in the ‘middle of nowhere’, somewhere around Whaplode.
Martyn said: “One of the men was armed with a shotgun and the other was carrying something. To this day I don’t know what. They both ran off in different directions. It turned out that the one with the shotgun was already on bail for some armed raids at Post Offices. He was caught the following day by other officers.”
He joined the police in Essex in 1983 and served in West Yorkshire before coming to Boston in 1995. His roles included traffic patrol officer, firearms officer, county firearms tactical adviser and collision investigator. He’s taken a leading role with the police cadets and in training street pastors.
Martyn says he couldn’t have done the job without the support of wife Diane, and sons Liam, 20, and Ross, 17.
“I am just having a little bit of time out, time out for myself and my family because the family have been along for the journey for a long while.
“My biggest ambition is to make sure that my boys can achieve what they want to achieve.”
Martyn has earned the respect of the Boston community not just for his role with the police but in many voluntary capacities, such as chairman of governors at Boston High School, coaching at Boston Rugby Club and refereeing the sport, and at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained as a permanent deacon around a year ago.