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You might expect a police officer to pick a hobby that gives them time off from dealing with violent offences –but for Islington chief inspector Steve Tysoe, that’s how he spends at least some of his spare time too.

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He is a referee in the Premier Ice Hockey league, which makes the step up from the National League this season.

It’s a sport notorious for violent confrontation and there is even a clause in the rules which allows “willing combatants” to fight during matches.

Steve said: “I end up dealing with more volatile situations in matches than I do at work, as people get so pumped up.

“The worst incident I’ve had to deal with is someone coming up behind another skater and punching them in the back of the neck with a gloved hand.”

However, occasionally having to break up brawls doesn’t stop the man in charge of Islington’s police patrols enjoying his hobby.

“It’s so fast. I carry a bit of weight, but this keeps me very fit and gives me the best seat in the house for the sport that I love,” he told the Gazette.

Steve got into ice hockey after giving up smoking. He put the new disposable income it generated into fulfilling his dream of playing the frenetic sport he had watched during the winter Olympics.

Along with other officers, Steve founded the Met Police Ice Hockey Club, who played regular charity matches against the armed forces and Surrey police.

They were raising cash for the treatment of Jack Brown, the son of two Met Officers suffering from cancer. His parents launched charity J-A-C-K after he passed away.

“The team is mothballed a bit at the moment, because of the work everyone is putting in for the Olympic Games, but should get back underway in the Autumn,” says Steve.

“Our best moment was winning a tournament against the Royal Navy and raising £2,500 for charity at the same time.”

Steve has been a police officer for 20 years, and recently transferred to Islington to provide strategic leadership to patrols in response to incidents.

The proudest moment of his career came as he led a line of police in Tottenham on the first night of last year’s riots, which he rates as the toughest thing he has ever had to deal with as an officer.

Despite occasional temptations, he has never arrested anyone for ‘losing it’ during a hockey match.

He added: “You have to remember there are rules to deal with it and what happens on the ice stays on the ice.

“I do get a lot of respect, because people know what I do. If someone really stepped over the line, I might though.”

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