Community Policing Insp, Simon Outen, from Lincs Police, said: “This weekend has seen some substantial police activity in Gainsborough, and I feel it is only right that I reassure the local community regarding policing in West Lindsey.
“Also this weekend we have seen the tragic events unfold in Paris, and this reinforces the importance of the need for the community to be vigilant and aware whilst going about their daily business, and to inform the police of any suspicions they may have.
“That said it is important to stress that the police activity in Gainsborough this weekend was in no way linked to those events in Paris. I would also like to once again thank the community for their patience whilst we resolved the matter we were investigating.
“Policing in the United Kingdom is based around the fundamental principle of policing by consent. This remains of utmost importance to me and my colleagues, and means that the ability to police the community is based upon us having the trust of that community. Also fundamental to this is the fact that we live in a democracy, where individuals are free to go about their lawful daily business without fear of intrusion from the authorities.
“However, it remains one of the prime functions of the police to ensure that the laws of the country are upheld and any allegations of criminal offences are thoroughly investigated in line with the evidence available.
“What occurred this weekend is an example of how the police will respond in relation to any allegations of crime that are reported to us, whether by victims or witnesses. Any response by police to an incident is carefully monitored and supervised by a senior officer in our control room, with all elements of the threat, risk, immediacy, necessity and proportionality being based on the available information.
“What the public should be clear about is that in Lincolnshire we remain committed to investigating and pursuing criminality within our communities. Legislation prevents me from discussing this ongoing investigation in any more detail.
“Where police are able to go with any investigation is very much determined by what evidence is available to us. This takes many forms, including forensic evidence, witness evidence, officer enquiries and a multitude of other enquiries that are undertaken. Once all this is collated, and we have the evidence to prosecute, we must then liaise with our colleagues in the Crown Prosecution Service. The overall result of all our investigations is that sometimes this leads to a prosecution, sometimes it doesn’t.
“What is important though is that the police continue to try and uncover all the available evidence and we often rely on the support of witnesses to help prove, and disprove, allegations and supply the evidence to assist in the prosecution, I know many are critical of this need to rely on witnesses, but this is based upon the fundamentals of the legislative framework in this country, and not in the gift of the police to alter.
“It is therefore important the community retains its strength, and individuals who wish to continue living in what is in all reality a safe area, come forward, stand by their personal convictions and assist the police, and other prosecution authorities, in maintaining law and order by holding those who do not wish to abide by society’s rules to account.
“Equally, I would also ask the community to look around them, and then look elsewhere, both nationally and internationally, and realistically assess the area in which they live. The reality is that Gainsborough and West Lindsey remains a safe and pleasant place to live, no it isn’t perfect, but I have yet to find that perfect world anywhere else either.
“However, I and the police officers and staff of West Lindsey continue to be dedicated to providing the highest possible level of policing service that they can within the constraints of the law under which we must operate and comply.
“I therefore remain extremely thankful for all the support and assistance we receive from the many members of the community in Gainsborough and West Lindsey, and once again stress that we will continue to investigate all allegations as thoroughly as we possibly can.”