Olympic torch relay - Police say Sleaford crowds were best in the county

LINCOLNSHIRE Police is thanking the public and its partners for helping to make the county’s biggest ever event a roaring success.

More than a year of careful planning on the part of local authorities and the emergency services, coupled with an amazing sense of community spirit, enabled the most logistically challenging event Lincolnshire has ever seen to go without a hitch.

Thousands of county residents lined the route of the Olympic torch relay and joined a wide range of cultural events and celebrations in our towns and villages.

Despite the huge amount of people moving around the county and the massive crowds gathering, crime and disruption was at an absolute minimal. Officers did not make a single Olympic celebration related arrest in Lincoln last night.

A fantastic sense of community was present from the very start as the torch entered the county at Louth. A really impressive crowd turned out at Skegness with tens of thousands of residents and holidaymakers watching the torch pop onto the beach.

There was a great turnout in Boston where the crowds were four-deep on the pavements of roads into the town and Sleaford surprised absolutely everyone, with police describing the town as ‘packed to the rafters and probably had the biggest route turnout of the whole county’.

All of this was made possible by 12 months of planning from all of the district councils, Lincolnshire County Council and emergency services.

Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister led the Lincolnshire Police operation across the county yesterday.

He said: “The policing operation was unlike any other the county has seen in terms of its size and scale and sheer logistical challenges.

“The entire operation was run from the Major Incident Command Room at Police Headquarters where there were representatives from all the emergency services, district and county council, military and voluntary sector.

“We worked well together, co-ordinating our efforts and late yesterday evening I spoke at the operational debrief to thank everybody for working so hard to make the event safe, effective and as enjoyable as it was for our communities.

“We worked from around 4am on Wednesday morning until 10.30pm to ensure our officers and staff were in the right place, right through to the close of the Brayford firework event in Lincoln. For the majority of that time, there were around 1,000 people on duty, of which 400 were police officers, PCSOs and special constables. The great majority of those were helping line the route over its 112 miles.

“I would like to say thank you to the people of Lincolnshire for getting into the party spirit. I hope they too felt our operation helped the day make a great success for the county and something to be really proud of.”