Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
PCC Tackles Fraud, Scams and Fly tipping on Dacorum District Day
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd visited a number of initiatives that are at core of his new Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan on a recent visit to the Dacorum district.

The day’s meetings began with attending Operation Stay Alert in Berkhamsted. Local police shared advice to a group of older residents about protecting themselves from becoming victims of crime from those looking for opportunities to pick-pocket.

Members of staff from Santander also gave guidance on ways to spot those who facilitate scams through phone-calls by way of pretending to be a financial institute or through the delivering of fraudulent mail and emails.

The Commissioner, who has put frauds and scams as a key priority in his plan, said: “I want to take the embarrassment and shame out of being a victim of fraud, so that we can provide support and care for victims and stop repeat victimisation.”

“I also intend to campaign to encourage those who effectively facilitate scams to take their responsibility for preventing them. If numerous or large transactions and withdrawals are being made out of bank accounts, action should be taken by the banks and financial institutions to monitor any suspicious activity.”

Sgt. Adele Hopkin who ran the session, said:  “These are valuable opportunities to help educate our residents to make sure they do all they can to prevent themselves becoming a victim of crime.”

“We’ve seen several incidences of purse-dipping and distraction burglary in Berkhamsted and the residents were given good advice by our officers and colleagues from the local banks.”

The Commissioner also visited a domestic abuse support group – Cherished – which is run by South Hill Centre to provide support locally to women who are or have been victims of domestic violence or find themselves in a similar vulnerable situation.

The group offers women a place to drop into for coffee and cake and an opportunity to sit and speak to others who are going through a similar experience. It has been running for four years and has helped hundreds of women.

Jude Chandler, co-ordinator of the organisation explained: “This group is to provide a safe, welcoming palace for women to fell cherished.  There is so much power in sitting with other women and sharing stories, but it is also about re-educating women that physical violence is not acceptable.”

Another initiative that has received support from the PCC’s office is fly-tipping.  The Commissioner took part at a fly-tipping interagency meeting, which had attendants from the Constabulary, District Borough Council and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Following a number of fly-tipping offences in the district, Mr. Lloyd spoke about trying to identify ways to tackle the issue across the district and the rest of the county.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “Fly-tipping in Hertfordshire is a serious problem and I am determined that we stop this blight. Investigations are on-going and I put it to those that commit these offences that time is running out for them.”

He has also provided a grant of more than £80,000 to help local authorities tackle fly-tipping across the county, which will be used to cover a wide spectrum of initiatives, including the purchase of new cameras for deployment at fly tipping hotspots across the county.

Inspector George Holland at Hemel Hampstead said: “Fly-tipping has a very negative impact on the environment within Dacorum. We are fortunate to have some of the most picturesque rural locations in the East of England, which are marred by the illegal activities of a few.”

“Officers from my Safer Neighbourhood Team will work with our partners from the council to bring such offenders to justice and to ensure they face the full weight of the law for their unacceptable and illegal activities.”

The Commissioner holds a monthly District Day, meeting police and community organisations which support victims and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire. Each month he attends a different district
HMIC Inspector Welcomes Improvements
David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, has welcomed the annual assessment by the government’s police regulator.

HMIC* has published its yearly report for the Constabulary which shows an overall satisfaction with the force’s performance and an acknowledgement that improvements are being made.

In February the force was rated as requiring improvement in the Effectiveness strand of the HMIC’s inspection programme.

However the government inspector Zoë Billingham has said the force acted swiftly in response to their inspections to rectify those problems.

A follow-up inspection report on the Effectiveness ‘pillar’ is due later this year.

PCC David Lloyd said: “I use HMIC inspections to help me hold the Constabulary to account on their operational processes and I welcome this update.”

“Whilst some areas of improvement were identified in previous inspections, the Inspector has told me she was pleased by the Constabulary’s response in dealing with the issues.  As a result I expect the re-inspection to show that Hertfordshire’s performance has returned to its normal high standard.”

“I’m glad too that a lot of positive areas of the inspection, including our force’s approach to serious and organised crime, child sexual exploitation and the way finances are managed, were praised by the Inspector.”

The Commissioner will continue to monitor the concerns raised in HMIC’s reports and meets weekly with the Chief Constable Charlie Hall to hold him to account.

Link to the report.

HMIC – Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.

Hate Crime Strategy Consultation Begins
Consultation has begun on a major strategy to address Hate Crime in Hertfordshire.

Led by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire Constabulary and the County Council, the draft strategy aims to improve prevention, resolution and the support of victims.

Recent figures for Hertfordshire show recorded instances of Hate Crime rose from 1597 in 2015/16 to 2080 in 2016/17* – a rise of over 30% on the previous year.

A Hate Crime is any criminal offence targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire says the rise in cases shows the need for greater action.
“More people are confident in reporting incidents of Hate Crime, which is to be welcomed, but the fact remains this is a vicious crime which often has a long-term impact on victims.”
“This causes distress to the victim far beyond the incident and can change the way someone behaves for life. It mustn’t be tolerated.”
“My Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan is called “Everybody’s Business”, and we are all responsible for challenging this appalling behaviour.”

Draft Hate Crime strategy and an easy-to-read guide

The strategy focuses on four key areas:

  • Challenging prejudice wherever it appears by educating the public to identify and reject hate and prejudice in all forms.
  • This includes target groups such as schools, the general public and the
    professional workforce.
  • Raise awareness of the impact of online harassment and Hate Crimes.
  • Promoting victim confidence in the system. 
  • Bringing offenders to justice using the appropriate legal tools.
  • Addressing the experience of the criminal justice system for both victims and offenders.
  • Increasing reporting of Hate Crime both through calls to the police and also through third-party reporting centres.
  • Supporting the victim to cope and recover.
  • Putting them at the heart of the criminal justice system.
  • Reducing repeat victimisation and improving confidence.
  • Further provision of an enhanced victim service delivered by case managers, with
    an overall aim of improving victim experience, satisfaction and on-going wellbeing.
  • Understanding exactly what Hate Crime looks like in Hertfordshire.
  • Who is affected and where?
  • Identifying and recognising emerging threats.
  • Transparently evaluating the work we do to tackle Hate Crime and support victims.
  • Effective use of data on Hate Crime using an intelligence-led approach so that we can be placed on a path of continuous improvement.
Superintendent Dean Patient, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Strategic Lead on tackling Hate Crime, said:

“Hate has corrosive impact on communities wherever it occurs, as well as a lasting impact on those individuals who have had to suffer it.”

“The figures show the issue is not just about racism or Brexit – a significant number of reports relate to hostility towards someone’s disability or sexual orientation. For these reasons it is vital that we have the views of everyone affected by hate crime now as this strategy will inform how we tackle hate crime and support victims in the future.”

By far the greatest number of Hate Crime incidents reported to the police in Hertfordshire were due to the victim being targeted because of their perceived race or ethnic background.
This accounted for 75% of all reports in 2016/17 followed by Disability (12%) and Homophobia (7%).

Guy Pratt, Deputy Director of Community Protection at Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“Hate crime in Hertfordshire is not something that will be tolerated. This joint strategy will ensure partners work together to support victims, bring offenders to justice and prevent hate crime in the county.”

“More people are reporting hate crime and we need to make sure we’re all well equipped to support victims and challenge prejudice. I would encourage anyone who experiences hate crime to report it. The more we know about what’s happening, the more we can do to stop it.”
The consultation runs for 12 weeks and ends on the 30th June. To respond to the consultation, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations or email HateCrimeConsultation@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Council Tax Questions to the Commissioner
In March, the Police and Crime Commissioner wrote to every council tax payer in Hertfordshire explaining where their money goes.

As a result, several people have asked similar questions:

Why is the police element of my Council Tax going up from April 2017?

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, has made an increase of 3.4%, which is equivalent to £5 a year for the average household in order to keep local policing teams in place.

Lower than expected funding from government, an increase in costs relating to safeguarding vulnerable people and a delay to a collaborated IT project have led to the rise.

This is the first time the Commissioner has raised the police element of the council tax precept in his two terms of office.

You can read the Commissioner’s open letter to residents and see the full budget report on this website.

Why is the amount spent on your office going up?
The Policing and Crime Bill Act places additional mandatory responsibilities on the PCC in relation to complaints. In order to meet these new requirements, and to provide the enhanced customer service experience outlined in the Commissioner’s Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, a new Customer Service Unit comprised of three and half a full time equivalent posts is being created to act as first point of contact for all complaints coming in to the Constabulary. The aim of the Unit is to provide a prompt and effective service which aims to improve levels of customer satisfaction and reduce the flow of low level complaints in to the tri-force Professional Standards Department.

The government has indicated its intention to devolve various aspects of the wider criminal justice system to PCCs and the 2017 Act enables Commissioners to explore further blue light collaboration, particularly in relation to governance of Fire and Rescue services. In order to provide additional support and resilience to the Policy Development team to pursue these areas, a Policy Support Manager and Head of Criminal Justice have been appointed.

Communication support for the PCC’s office has, until now, been provided from within the Constabulary.  As the role of the PCC has expanded, the need for independent media and communications support based within the OPCC’s office became increasingly apparent and the equivalent of two full time posts were transferred from the Constabulary budget to the OPCC, so this shows an increase in the OPCC budget but does not increase the cost to taxpayers.
Full details of the Commissioner’s budget can be found in this report.

Mental Health Pilot in Hertfordshire Reduces Strain on A&E Services
Further work to support those in mental health crisis in Hertfordshire through the Street Triage Scheme has reported a significant drop in the number of people in mental health crisis being detained under the Mental Health Act.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd is now funding a full cost-benefit analysis of the scheme to see what the best model of Street Triage is for Hertfordshire and whether on that basis, it should be extended and made permanent.  

Commissioner Lloyd said: “This is a brilliant example of partnership working in action.  It is reducing the demand on our public services, but far more importantly it is providing a much better and more appropriate service for people who find themselves in mental health crisis.”

The service is a joint partnership between Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Hertfordshire University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT). Under the scheme, health professionals make an on-street assessment to ensure an individual gets the best care possible when concerns about their mental state are reported to the police. It is primarily designed to help avoid preventable detentions under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Under Section 136 a police officer can take a person in mental health distress to a ‘place of safety,’ to assess their needs.

The triage scheme is the latest result of Hertfordshire’s Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, originally set up by the Police and Crime Commissioner and designed to bring a wide variety of agencies together to commit to providing a better service to people facing mental health crisis.

The service is based on the provision of two cars with a police officer and a mental health crisis team clinician who attend incidents concerning people reported to be in mental health crisis countywide. Two shifts operate between 5pm to 2am and 7pm to 4am.

In a temporary expansion of the scheme in December 2016, one of the cars was replaced by an unmarked ambulance supplied by the East of England Ambulance Services Trust (EEAST) and the deployment of a paramedic working alongside the mental health clinician and police officer. The aim was to provide more specialist medical care and to ease the pressure on A&E services.

This prevented 43 people in mental health crisis from having to go to A&E. As a result of its success, the ambulance pilot service also ran throughout the month of March.

A/DCI Matt Phillips, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Safeguarding Command, said: “The initial results of this trial have been very encouraging with a significant reduction in the number of people in mental health crisis being detained under the MHA, compared to the months prior to the most recent changes. We will continue to monitor the figures and will be working with the Herts Partnership Foundation Trust and the East of England Ambulance Service to learn where we can and improve the service further.

Not only is this scheme providing quality of care and speed of services to people who often need urgent help, but it has the secondary benefit of keeping more police resources out on the street preventing crime and keeping people safe.”

Background and Key Dates

October 2014: The PCC and Hertfordshire’s Partners publish a Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat and Action Plan.
April 2015: Hertfordshire Constabulary and HPFT launch a pilot Mental Health Triage Scheme in the Police Force Control Room. A mental health clinician gives advice and information to frontline police officers around proposed detentions under S.136 and in doing so assists in supporting a reduction in the number of S.136 detentions.
Early 2016: Pilot expands to providing resources on the street with the mental health clinician attending calls in a street triage vehicle alongside a police officer.
August 2016: Street Triage pilot provides two vehicles to cover the whole county between the hours of 5pm to 4am (5pm to 2am and 7pm and 4am). The mental health clinician from the Force Control Room is redeployed to one of the vehicles and access enabled to service users’ care plans through HPFT’s electronic patient record - PARIS.
Dec 2016 – Jan 2017: Paramedic pilot runs for a month’s trial which replaced one of the police cars with an ambulance, supplied by the East of England Ambulance Services Trust (EEAST) and includes a paramedic with the mental health clinician and police officer from 5pm to 2am.This avoided 43 people from going to A&E.
March 2017: Following the positive results from December’s trial, the paramedic pilot is put in place for the month of March.

Picture: The Chief Constable and Commissioner visit the Street Triage team on duty in the Force Control Room, January 2017 

Outline Business Case for Fire Governance
As set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, Police and Crime Commissioners are now able to examine the options for taking over governance of their local Fire and Rescue Service.

In Hertfordshire, David Lloyd first stated his intention to investigate this proposal in 2016, and again in his Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, published in 2017.

He believes there may be an opportunity to increase transparency, make the service more accountable and improve public safety and the overall efficiency of the service.

In December 2016, he commissioned an investigation to examine whether there is a good business case for bringing the governance of the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority under his responsibility.

This Outline Business Case, published today, suggests there are potential benefits to pursuing this model:
  • Improved interoperability, through a co-located control room, collaborative training and joint operational activity, enabling better coordination and the streamlining of decision-making across the emergency services. This will improve our response to road traffic accidents and other major inter-agency incidents.
  • Opportunity for better capital investment, the development of community assets, financial savings and innovation through shared police and fire estates.
  • Flexibility to determine the most financially beneficial option for back office service provision and corporate support, for example, vehicle maintenance.
  • Collaborative procurement between services, enabling substantial savings by maximising the collective buying power where operational requirements allow.
  • Delivery of efficiencies through a more coordinated use of joint resources, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and retained on-call fire-fighters, to bolster local policing teams and improve visibility.
  • Opportunities for improvements in public safety through bringing together an evidence base to inform preventative work and deliver improved safety outcomes for the public.
  • The outline business case has indicated that these benefits could achieve yearly revenue benefits of between £1.2m and £4m and one-off capital receipts of between £3.3m and £15.4m
David Lloyd will now commission a full business case to properly examine the potential of any further improvements to public safety and efficiency in Hertfordshire. If this reveals benefits can be achieved, he will put that to a public consultation.

The full business case is not expected to be published until the summer of 2017.

You can read the business case here.
PCC joins other Partners at Tackling Modern Slavery Conference
The Police and Crime Commissioner of Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, joined forces with the Hertfordshire Constabulary, Shiva Foundation and Hertfordshire County Council to host a conference: “Tackling Modern Slavery in Hertfordshire” on Wednesday, March 29th.

The event was organised to highlight the issue of modern slavery and to start building an effective partnership approach to help identify the problem, bring offenders to justice and support victims.

Herts Constabulary launched Operation Tropic at the event – a dedicated police unit that will co-ordinate the response to modern slavery in Hertfordshire.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “The creation of Operation Tropic is a significant step forward in the tackling of this serious crime and delivers a pledge in my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan which calls for greater partnership working and improving the care of victims.
Hertfordshire Constabulary should be commended on leading the way and this pilot programme shows how serious the force is taking the crime.”

Detective Superintendent Dave Wheatley said: “Almost every modern slavery investigation will require a multiagency response from charities that provide support to victims to multiple law enforcement agencies that tackle trafficking. Therefore it is hugely beneficial for frontline staff from different agencies throughout the country and further afield to come together and share best practice and become more aware of the issues around this often complex and hidden crime.

In the future – the Constabulary’s Operation Tropic will play a leading role in developing and sustaining the partnership between these key stakeholders. This pilot represents a new approach in how we tackle modern slavery in Hertfordshire and I know that other Forces around the country will be closely following our progress with a view to replicating our model.”

Speakers at the event included Sir John Randall, Vice-Chair and Trustee of the Human Trafficking Foundation, Caroline Haughey, Criminal Barrister, Author of  the Modern Slavery Act Review and Member of the Prime Minister’s Modern Slavery Taskforce, Commissioner, David Lloyd and Meenal Sachdev, Director of Shiva Foundation.

Ms Sachdev said; “Combatting modern slavery requires a co-ordinated and united approach and we welcome the launch of this dedicated police unit as part of the collaborative efforts in Hertfordshire.

The Unit will play a key role in bringing the key perpetrators of modern slavery to justice and ensure the police on the frontline are best equipped to help protect those who may be at risk. Partnering with key groups on a local level helps drive real change and we look forward to sharing further announcements from the Hertfordshire network.”

Behind the Scenes at Police Custody in Hertfordshire
Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) are volunteers who have been recruited by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and are specifically trained to monitor the well-being of detainees in custody suites, whilst ensuring any issues relating to them or the suites are addressed. 

Currently they carry out two visits a week, which can happen day and night, across the two custody suites at Stevenage and Hatfield in Hertfordshire.

This short film explains what a typical custody visit entails and how a custody suite operates.

[Inspector Colin Horder shows two Indpendent Custody Visitors (ICVs) around Hatfield Custody]

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner recently hosted an annual ICV event in Hertfordshire to educate ICVs on recent developments and changes around police custody, which  was attended by volunteers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

An experienced and varied panel of speakers covered a wide range of topical subjects that are at the forefront of how custody suites are evolving.

Speakers included the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd who said: “Our community measures us by how we look after the most vulnerable in our care. I am proud of the ICVs we have in place and I thank them for the brilliant work they are doing, particularly looking out for our youth and those who have mental health problems.”

ACC Owen Weatherill said: “Police Custody is evolving and becoming ever more professional. ICVs are an important link between the Police and the public – they broker a relationship which we can’t always do. Custody visits are not just about scrutiny – detainees may welcome an independent face for a chat.”

Sherry Ralph, Project Officer at the Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) and speaker at the event said: “The Eastern ICV Conference was a great opportunity for ICVA to thank the custody visitors for their time and commitment to the role, and to share with them some of the challenges and changes that custody visiting and ICVA face.

It was a great day, and by attending I also managed to learn a great deal from some of the other speakers.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the role of an ICV - you can find more information here.

No Hiding Place for those Caught Fly-Tipping
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd has sent out a clear message to fly - tippers:  time is running out and they will be caught.

In the period from April 2016 to January 2017, thirty-two cases of fly-tipping offences were successfully prosecuted by Hertfordshire’s Boroughs and Districts. Although the primary responsibility for dealing with fly-tipping lies with local authorities, the PCC has committed extra funding to tackle the issue in response to public concerns raised with him.

The Commissioner has set up a ‘Partnership fund’ to deal with issues such as fly-tipping, fly-grazing and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), which will work on a matched funding basis. He has committed £400, 000 to the fund over the next four years.

Of this sum, £80,000 was awarded by the Commissioner this year to the Herts Fly Tipping Group (HFG), part of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP) to go towards 8 bids which were received by his office.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “Fly-tipping in Hertfordshire is a serious problem and I am determined that we stop this blight. There are a number of investigations going on and I put it to those that commit these offences that time is running out for them.

I have provided a grant of more than £80,000 to help local authorities tackle fly-tipping across the county. This grant will be used to cover a wide spectrum of initiatives, including the purchase of new cameras for deployment at fly tipping hotspots across the county.

I am also investigating using funds generated from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) (the money confiscated from criminals)  as way of compensating landowners who have been left with a hefty clearing-up bill.”

Projects began in December 2016 and all schemes have to be implemented by March 31st, this year. A summary report will then be presented to the Herts Waste Partnership members and the PCC in April.

Councils that were successful in having their bids approved were: Broxbourne, East Herts, North Herts, Hertsmere / St Albans, Three Rivers and Welwyn Hatfield.

Head of Crime Reduction & Community Safety, Superintendent Dean Patient, said: “The ROST (Rural Operational Support Team) provide a county wide specialised role, working with the rural communities who are often, although, not exclusively blighted with this crime.

We are seeking to work with the waste partnership to collate information and intelligence about evolving trends and the best way to both deter such offences and catch those responsible.”

Cllr Richard Thake, Chairman of Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, said: “The waste partnership under the auspices of the Herts Fly Tipping Group is pleased to be working with the Police and Crime Commissioner on this important initiative.

Fly tipping costs Hertfordshire’s residents and businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. This is money that could be better spent on other more vital services. To this end we note that a number of the Boroughs and Districts are implementing new information campaigns to highlight the Duty of Care responsibilities we all have when engaging with local contractors to remove waste we wish to dispose of.

It’s vitally important that residents and businesses carry out the necessary checks to ensure contractors are properly licensed. Failure to do so could see people unwittingly end up in court being prosecuted for fly tipping.”

Mobile Phone Drivers Caught in front of Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd attended an operation that caught 12 drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving in Hertford, as part of a District Day to East Hertfordshire.

Operation Drive Alive took place on London Road into Hertford yesterday morning, March 6th. This operation, which has run several times since last autumn has also been supported by local and national advertising campaigns around the dangers of using mobile telephones whilst driving. 

New mobile phone laws for using a phone whilst driving came into place at the beginning of March.

Drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now receive a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points on their licence. Motorists who have held their licenses for less than two years will be banned if caught using their device just once.

Following the operation, the Commissioner said: “I am disappointed to see that some motorists are still continuing to use their mobile phones whilst driving. Operations like this are important to remind people that if they continue to break the law, they will be caught.

There has been significant media coverage making drivers aware of the dire consequences their negligent actions can cause and if they continue to break the law – they must pay the penalty before they pay the price with their own lives or that of someone else.”

Sgt Martin May who led the operation added: “I can quite confidently say that a motorist’s reactions would be seriously affected if they were using their phone for any purpose behind the wheel.  Drivers that do so don’t have their full attention on the road and it is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs on this stretch of road.

I urge motorists to put their phones out of reach whilst driving. A moment’s distraction can have lasting consequences. All 12 of the drivers found using their phones were reported for the offence and will be dealt with by our process unit.”

As part of the day the Commissioner also met with a number local farm managers - Andrew Watts of Wallington Farms and Gordon Pace of Gilston Crop Management, who both took the opportunity to speak about the rural crime issues that are affecting the areas they are working in.

These crimes include criminal damage to emerging crops in fields caused by 4x4s, hare and deer coursing (sometimes up to 3-4 nights a week) and fly-tipping incidents, at least once a week in some places.

Volunteers amongst the farmers are proving to be an important link for the Police to share information to the community when these incidents occur.

Sgt Duncan Wallace of East Herts Police said: “Rural crime, particularly fly-tipping requires a multi-agency approach to deliver results.
Communication is absolutely essential as parties will deliver very little in isolation – only by working together will we deliver results.

Local farm volunteers also bring their own expertise to the partnership approach – they can assist in investigations and forge relationships with the local community.”

Police Failings "Not Good Enough" - Commissioner
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, says he’s disappointed at the performance of Hertfordshire Constabulary, after receiving a “Requires Improvement” grading by government inspectors.

The force was given the rating for its effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime, which is one part of the HMIC ‘Peel’ inspection.

The report was particularly critical of how the force identifies victims and vulnerable people at the first point of contact.

David Lloyd said:

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I’m the voice of victims and there to make sure they’re at the heart of the criminal justice system. When this doesn’t happen, I’m disappointed – and I’ve requested a full report from the new Chief Constable on what he intends to do to fix this.

This failure to identify the risk to certain individuals correctly could – unless the force puts this right - damage the public’s confidence in our force and this must not happen.”

The area of most concern to Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary was the initial contact with the police and the way the force processes the call. This has led to some victims not being properly identified as needing immediate help.

The Commissioner said: “Sadly the problems highlighted in this report will not come as a surprise to the force. After a previous inspection I was reassured measures had been taken to improve the situation, but HMIC have found the system is still not working.

The grading of “Inadequate” in the strand relating to supporting the vulnerable victims is frankly unacceptable, and disappointing.

The new Chief Constable has reassured me steps have already been taken to fix this, and I’ve now added this as an objective for his annual appraisal.”

HMIC has said it will return later this month or in April to re-inspect the control room, and assess the system the Constabulary uses to process the calls, known as THRIIVES*.

This is an operational decision taken by the force, but the Commissioner has requested a formal report into its effectiveness.

David Lloyd: “I’ve asked the new Chief Constable to conduct a report on THRIIVES. HMIC has clearly identified serious systemic failings and I need to know it is fit for purpose, in order to ensure victims are not let down.”

The Commissioner is also concerned that victims aren’t being fully briefed on their rights under the Victim’s Code of Practice, and so don’t always know what options are open to them.

Hertfordshire has a dedicated victim care centre, Beacon, which has won praise for the support it provides to victims once they are in the system. The PCC would like to see this level of professionalism applied throughout a victim’s journey.

HMIC did praise the work of the force in other important areas, and singled it out for commendation for maintaining a strong focus on community policing - which is a key pillar of the PCC’s Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan. It was also praised for its approach to serious and organised crime, rural policing and the way it works with partner agencies, particularly in areas such as crime prevention and tackling anti-social behaviour.

The Commissioner said: “Overall Hertfordshire police continue to provide an excellent service and perform to the high standards which the people of Hertfordshire have come to expect. That is why it is important to respond effectively when there is any sign that those standards have slipped in any area.  I am pleased that HMIC acknowledges that the swift action now taken will lead to significant improvements.”

Link to inspection report here.
* Definition of the THRIIVES model:
Threat – an indication of imminent danger
HARM – actual or potential ill effects or danger
RISK – the likelihood that harm will occur
Intelligence – any available intelligence
Investigation- the opportunities for meaningful lines of enquiry
Vulnerability – indication of specific needs of victim
Engagement – opportunity for community reassurance, multi-agency approach?
Specified Need – defined by each force i.e. dwelling burglary
Presentation on THRIIVES here.
Previous inspections:

Hertfordshire Community Projects Benefit from Commissioners Fund
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has launched a new community fund in partnership with Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF).

The Fund makes available £120,000 that has been generated through offender confiscations under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). It will be used to help local organisations and community groups to deliver projects and services that help to reduce crime and make Hertfordshire a safer place to live.

Small grants (up to £5,000) will be provided upon successful applications and can cover a range of activities, including but not limited to practical work, research projects, equipment and materials, and awareness raising or training.

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “Keeping people safe is everybody’s business. The aim of this fund is to support communities in coming together to generate ideas and implement projects that contribute to delivering my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan (2017-2022) for Hertfordshire. I am keen to work together with a range of organisations from our community and district partners to deliver an even safer county.”

Jonathan Aves, Foundation Director for Hertfordshire Community Foundation said: “We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes. Our research project, Hertfordshire Matters found that residents rate Hertfordshire very highly when it comes to feeling safe. But there is always more to do. We are very pleased to be involved in this fund which will further contribute to improving our county at a local community level.”
Grant applications, submission criteria and more information can be found on Hertfordshire Community Foundation’s website www.hertscf.org.uk or call 01707 251 351.

Application Deadlines:

7th April - for panel in May – results w/c 15th May

2nd June - for panel in July – result w/c 11th July

4th August - for panel in September – result w/c 19th September

21st October - for panel in November – result w/c 27th November