POLICE FEATURE: Saving lives is ‘above all else’ and dealing with suicide cases is a weekly occurrence

Police news.
Police news.

From saving lives and dealing with daily abuse - to reports of offensive snowmen - it’s all part of the job for Boston’s local police team. Here Chief Insp Timmins and Chief Supt Wood explain some of the more challenging and memorable aspects of life on the thin blue line...

“Our officers work hard to make Boston a safe and nice place to work in and if people saw some of the things our officers are faced with and the way they are treated, they would be shocked,” said Chief Supt Paula Woods. “Yet they they remain professional and do their job to a very high standard.”

Chief Insp Timmins added: “My officers try to help people in some of the most difficult circumstances you could imagine. All joined the force to help people and to detect and prevent crime.”

One of the more urgent incidents which police deal with are suicide cases.

“I’m one of the force’s negotiators and we do deal with suicidal people quite reguarly,” said Chief Insp Timmins. “The people I really fear for are those who have not contacted anybody or left a note when they go missing. Saving lives is above everything else we do. If a call came in someone was a potential suicide threat – that would become a priority over everything else.

“These suicide cases do happen quite reguarly. “Not a week goes by where there isn’t one. We deal with it as sensitively as we can. It’s one of those things people often don’t hear about.”

Chief Supt Wood said: “It’s worrying when you see the number of suicides we have. We do get involved in a number of incidents where we find people who are attempting suicide, and the family report they have a history of suicide.”

Managing families in distress is just part of the job for police – with officers having to switch between a gentle, sympathetic approach to a more assertive one at the drop of a hat.

“They could go from a job dealing with the family of someone who’s died - to tackling an offender,” said Chief Supt Wood.

Chief Insp Timmins added: “That’s one of the big skills our officers have. There are lots of things our police do that the public don’t see but they don’t seek recognition as they are just doing their job.”

Police are often the first on the scene of major road accidents and dealing with fatal collisions and the aftermath of informing family members is ‘one of the most harrowing things’ police deal with.

“I have had a couple of really difficult investigations I’ve dealt with in that respect,” Chief Insp Timmins added.

Speaking about two of his most memorable times on the force, he added: “I was a firearms officer for a long time and there was one incident where I really did think I was going to pull the trigger on somebody who was holding a pistol in the air during an armed robbery in Lincoln. At the other end of the scale, we once got a call from someone reporting a snowman in the road. Not sure what they expected us to do about that one.”