Meet ‘the negotiator’: Boston’s police inspector on his role, street drinking and handling duo who threatened to jump

editorial image

From the drama of hostage negotiations to petty street crime, Boston’s new inspector has seen plenty of action in his first few months in the post.

Insp Jim Manning took on the responsibility of heading up Boston’s police team at the start of the year, and spoke to The Standard about his job and the demands of policing the borough.

“It’s a challenging but enjoyable role,” he said.

“The challenges Boston has with its demographics and issues, certainly with the street drinking, makes it one of the busiest districts in Lincolnshire.”

Speaking about the ‘language barrier’, he said it was not a concern as their officers are very experienced at dealing with such situations.

“Officers can quickly get an interpreter on the phone or in person,” he said. “We have recruited multi-lingual volunteers from the migrant community, and they assist us greatly.”

Originally from Kent, Insp Manning has a background in the Royal Air Force, where he was stationed at RAF Coningsby. He later went on to be a police detective and a uniformed police sergeant at Skegness before moving to his role in charge of policing in Boston, racking up 15 years service with in the force.

One of his current roles is that of ‘hostage negotiator’ – and along with Chief Inspector Paul Timmins, he is one of just 20 trained police negotiators in the UK.

A recent incident that called for such skills was in May when a man threatened to jump off the Stump tower.

“I’ve been called to other jobs around the country as a negotiator, but this was the most dramatic as it was going to happen. He was really going to go. It was quite traumatic but I managed to talk to him and negotiate him down.”

The other incident in Boston in which he worked as negotiator on was the Polish man brandishing a knife on the roof in Liquorpond Street back in April.

“That was interesting,” he said. “The man’s opening gesture was to throw a roof tile at me. But we managed to resolve that one ok.”

Insp Manning explained that while there has been a ‘small rise’ in violent crime in the town, overall crime, including house burglaries, is down six per cent in the borough compared with last year.

“The street drinking in the town centre is ongoing and it’s a main focus of ours to really get a grip on that,” he said.

“We have got two very good sergeants and about 25 PCs and PCSOs – and we work very closely with the borough council’s community safety team. They have been very supportive and helpful.”

The 40-year-old married father-of-two is now working on a campaign to tackle the ‘big three’ property crimes in the area – burglaries, bicycle thefts, and thefts from vehicles.

Regarding the planned outright ban on street drinking in the town centre, due to come into force in October, he said: “This is certainly one of my priorities – and we are probably going to be the first in the country to do it.”