Survey launched on police stations and contacting the Constabulary
Residents are being asked how they want to use their local police stations and their preferred way to contact the Constabulary.

To ensure the public know of the wide-range of options of how report crimes and ask for assistance they are being asked to complete a short survey.

Following the relocation of several police stations and the closure of under-used front counter services, a campaign is being launched to highlight their locations across the county.

It will focus on the extensive network of stations and bases in Hertfordshire as well as the availability of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams who work in every Hertfordshire District and Borough.

The survey will enable residents and business to feedback on if they know where their local station is and what is their preferred way of contacting the police in non-emergency situations which don’t require a 999 call.


Mr Lloyd with Chief Constable Charlie Hall at Hemel Police Station                            At St Albans Police Station in the city centre

Hertfordshire currently has 20 police stations which are available for members of the public to meet with an officer, if they call ahead to make an appointment.

The Commissioner and the Constabulary have also invested in enabling the public to engage via telephone on the 101 number, mobile phone, online and by virtual chat.

These can all be used to report matters such as: a crime, a concern, a vehicle collision, anti-social driving, fraud, certain lost and found property items, complaints and compliments.

Along with police forces nationally police are no longer taking reports of most reports of lost and found property, they now deal with official documents such as passports, suspected stolen items and illegal objects.

Reports of flytipping, lost or stray dogs, graffiti, noise nuisance and abandoned cars are dealt with by local authorities.

As well as ensuring police accessibility substantial investments have been made in mobile technology that helps frontline officers to stay out on patrol for greater periods, often only returning to a police station if they make an arrest.

The survey can be accessed and completed by following this link www.bit.ly/hertspolice-stations. It will close on October 18th.

Hertfordshire’s twenty police stations are: Abbotts Langley, Berkhamsted, Bishop’s Stortford, Borehamwood, Buntingford, Cheshunt, Hatfield, Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, Hitchin, Letchworth, South Oxhey, Rickmansworth, Royston, St Albans, Stevenage, Tring, Watford and Welwyn Garden City.

More details here - https://www.herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/About-us/Police-stations
 
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Free fraud and cybercrime advice seminar for businesses
Hertfordshire businesses are invited to attend a free Fraud and Cybercrime Breakfast Seminar organised by the Police and Crime Commissioner Mr David Lloyd.

It is being hosted by the Independent Business Advisory Group (IBAG) which was established by the Commissioner to help local firms tackle and discuss key crime issues.

The event is being held online from 8am to 9am with an opportunity for networking from 9 – 9.30am on Thursday 8th October and is open to all companies and businesses across the county.

Expert speakers will be offering advice on preventing cybercrime and foiling fraudsters who target commercial operations.



Virtual attendees will hear of emerging threats and which premises are most at risk of being targeted. They will also learn how fraudsters contact businesses via phishing emails, postal and telephone scams and what measures to take to mitigate becoming a victim of crime.

There will also be information of an additional scheme offering free cybersecurity checks by computer professionals to small and medium sized businesses.

Mr Lloyd said: “One in five crimes across Hertfordshire is committed against a business. This not only effects individuals such as owners and staff, but it can have a devastating impact on the financial viability of small and medium sized businesses.

“While many are experiencing tougher times due to the COVID-19 restrictions, any additional loss by fraud or cybercrime will exacerbate the tough times these companies are facing.

“Successful and viable firms are vital for the prosperity of the county, and I want to make sure that the simple and effective advice to protect themselves is easily and widely available.

“I trust that business owners will take this opportunity to invest ninety minutes of their time at this Breakfast Seminar to learn how to prevent their firms becoming victims of crime.”



There will also be an opportunity to network virtually on group discussions on the difficulties caused by COVID-19. Guests will be able to talk to other local business owners and representatives from Hertfordshire Police, the Chamber of Commerce, Growth Hub and Federation of Small Businesses.

Free tickets for the event can be obtained by visiting the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fraud-cybercrime-seminar-independent-business-advisory-group-ibag-tickets-120993080561

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner established IBAG so a range of businesses from sectors such as the rural community, retail, leisure, technology and professional services along with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) can discuss key issues around business crime.

They also work together to share best practise to reduce and prevent business crime across the county.
 
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A thousand domestic abuse victims helped by Beacon Safeguarding Hub
More than 1,000 domestic abuse victims have been contacted across Hertfordshire by the new multi-agency team, with over half accessing further help and support.

Supported and funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner the Beacon Safeguarding Hub was launched in May as a pilot scheme and it is based at the Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) at Hatfield Police Station.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is excellent news that the hub is already making a real positive difference to people’s lives. Victims are being given practical help to enable them to escape the abuse, while more offenders are being arrested.

“The Safeguarding Hub is a further expansion of the services offered by our nationally recognised Beacon Victim Care Centre and delivers on the strong commitment in my Community Safety and Criminal Justice plan to improve the support available to victims of crime in Hertfordshire.

“This early success shows there is a need for this service, particularly as we have seen a rise in domestic abuse during the COVID-19 crisis.”



The Beacon Victim Care Centre, launched in 2015, offers support services to all victims of crime in Hertfordshire. Adding to this service, the new safeguarding hub now triages the majority of reports of domestic abuse to police and proactively contacts victims offering support. From there victims can be referred to an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, get advice on injunctions or refuges, or get other practical or emotional support.” 

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Wright who heads up the DAISU said: “Without a doubt, this unit has been a lifeline for many victims of domestic abuse who may not have contacted police or other support services."

“In all likelihood, they would have been exposed to further harm and repeat victimisation. The hub was launched during lockdown in May when victims may have been more exposed to controlling and coercive relationships with added pressures of lockdown putting more people at risk of abuse, including emotional and financial abuse.”

“The uptake of support has surpassed all expectations and is growing week on week. In the region of 125 more Hertfordshire domestic abuse victims are now benefitting from a dedicated, needs-assessed service every month.”

DCI Wright added: “We have already seen some excellent results from the pilot which has helped victims move on and recover from abusive relationships, whilst also reducing risk to the victim and improving attrition rates in prosecutions. 

“Our priority is safeguarding victims and although we will do everything we can to get offenders to court, it is not always possible. Despite this there are other avenues of support that can be offered to victims that can help change their lives for the better.”

Some examples of support offered to victims include:

A vulnerable victim was unable to seek help due to the controlling and coercive relationship but thanks to intervention from the hub she and her two children were taken to a place of safety.  She later disclosed that she had been forced to have sex with different men to conceive her second child. Her husband was arrested for coercive and controlling behaviour.  He is currently on police bail and the case is still being investigated.

A male victim of domestic assault had been living in his car for a week after his partner threw him out of their address. The victim tried to speak to the council to be re-housed however previous attempts made by the victim to be re-housed were unsuccessful. After contacting the hub, he was re-housed the same day. The victim was very grateful for the support and was referred to Mankind.  

A mother of two reported historic assaults by her husband. She was in fear and initially did not support a prosecution because she was financially dependent on him. Her husband was working from home due to lockdown and the victim felt trapped and was unable to speak with police as he was always present. She was able to arrange a time when it was safe for her to speak and provided a statement which resulted in her husband’s immediate arrest.  He was released without charge, however the victim accepted a referral to Catch 22 for ongoing emotional support and was planning separation from her husband.
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Commissioner comments on Extinction Rebellion protest
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has issued the following statement on the Extinction Rebellion protest in Broxbourne.

“I have always championed free speech, of which protest is a key part, but I am very concerned that the focus of this Extinction Rebellion action has been our free press.

“This will have dismayed most reasonable people, including me. The actions went beyond legitimate protest and Hertfordshire police rightly took firm action to end this blockade. 

“I was in contact with the Chief Constable during the events and understand from him that it was a difficult and complex operation which presented many challenges to our officers.  

“I am pleased that following robust action and dozens of arrests access, roads were successfully cleared and I thank our officers for their hard work in doing so.

“Clearly these are events we do not want to see repeated, and I will be talking to the Chief in the coming days about any lessons which can be learned.”
 
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Another 18 new police officers boost front line numbers
August is usually holiday season, but for these 18 new recruits it was time to start applying the skills they’d learned as Hertfordshire Constabulary student police officers.

The 14 men and four women – including a former teacher, an Army leaver and an IT worker – were officially welcomed to our policing family by Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

In their first postings there are three officers based in Stevenage, two PCs in Borehamwood, Broxbourne, Hatfield, Hemel, Watford, and one new officer based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford, North Herts, St Albans and Three Rivers.




Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd said: “Welcome and congratulations to all those joining one of the best constabularies in the country. The COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best in our officers, who have shown the upmost professionalism while keeping our communities safe.


“These new officers are joining during challenging times, but at a time when officer numbers are the highest they have been in a decade.”

Ch Constable Hall said: “I was delighted to welcome our new police officers to the force and know that they will find their chosen career challenging and rewarding.

“After 15 weeks’ training, socially distanced from their tutors and classmates, they are ready to start work and continue learning on the job. I am very proud of each of them and although they could not have family or friends to their passing out parade, as we maintain COVID-safe arrangements, I was pleased to welcome them to our policing family.”



Training included a mixture of classroom based and practical sessions, covering a vast range of topics including law and powers, personal safety and dealing with volatile situations, first aid and safeguarding vulnerable victims.  On-the-job training continues for many months until they are fit for independent patrol.

If you feel inspired to become a Hertfordshire police officer, visit hertspoliceofficer.co.uk/ to find out how to apply. You’ve got until the end of September to do so.

Through our ‘Positive Action’ scheme, Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to building relationships with under-represented groups and encouraging them to join our policing family. For more information and support visit hertspoliceofficer.co.uk/diversity
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PCC funding traffic calming measures in Aldbury
A village in Dacorum is to get a traffic calming scheme installed following safety fears being raised by residents.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd is using £75,800 from the Road Safety Fund to pay for the measures in Aldbury.

The award was made after 87 per cent of villagers backed plans to address pedestrian safety and reduce vehicle speeds.

Mr Lloyd said: “The community has been concerned for many years now about the safety of the village from speeding and anti-social driving.


The four areas in the village where work will take place

“These measures in Aldbury are being brought in after the vast majority of villagers backed the plans following extensive consultation. They have been carefully designed so they don’t alter the rural character of the village.

“My Road Safety Fund was created to support projects which use a mix of engineering and education to achieve sustainable behaviour change. Ultimately the aim is reduce road casualties and make people safer.”

Following a feasibility study, it was decided to install a new courtesy crossing outside Aldbury Church of England School, next to the Memorial Hall. The footway in Station Road is to be widened, plus new gateway features are to be installed there, and in Toms Hill Road.


Plans showing where measures will be put in place

Every year the Road Safety Fund invites local community groups and organisations to apply for grants to help develop and design local solutions where a need has been identified to improve safety.

Anti-social driving, such as speeding, those causing distractions such as mobile phones, drug and alcohol driving, and collisions and casualties on our roads, are frequently raised as concerns by the residents of Hertfordshire.

It is funded using the surplus generated from motorists who have committed driving offences and been ordered to pay court costs following prosecution, or who have attended educational diversionary courses.
 
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Victims and witnesses given extra support as COVID-19 delays trials
Victims and witnesses involved in the criminal justice system are being given extra help as COVID-19 causes trials to be delayed.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has funded a support programme for those who are due to give evidence in court cases.

Last year almost a quarter of all trials that failed to proceed were because of victim or witness issues. It is feared this figured could rise as the backlog means cases are taking even longer to come to court.

Now the Commissioner has funded two pilot projects for a year which provide online virtual support 24 hours a day, with the aim of supporting victims and improving the failure rate of court cases.

The digital platform site www.qwell.io provides help for adults, while www.kooth.com/supportservices is aimed at children going through the criminal justice system. They have accredited councillors to offer advice, to which clients will be referred by Beacon, Hertfordshire’s victim care centre.



Mr Lloyd said: “This is an innovative project aiming to help victims and witnesses get through the stressful and daunting criminal process system.

“By providing access to support online, the aim is that more people than ever will be able to access the often vital help to which they are entitled.

“This will help them personally deal with and recover from the trauma, and also seek to reduce the number of court cases which fail because of witnesses failing to participate.

“The COVID-19 crisis has put particular strain on the court system, so this assistance is needed now more than ever.”

Kooth and Qwell are both accredited British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy services. Run by XenZone, they offer users access to a range of online support services, including peer-to-peer forums which are safe and pre-moderated and one-on-one anonymous counselling sessions.

Sessions are available from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm on weekends and can be booked in advance or through a drop-in session. Services can be accessed without any waiting lists, thresholds or referrals.  

“As trials are pushed and the strain is felt by the victims we support, digital services are needed more than ever to address the demand,” said Emma Jones, Service Manager for Catch22 at Beacon.

“By offering alternative types of support like XenZone’s digital counselling service, we can address the significant gap of counselling services for domestic and sexual violence victims, and for witnesses awaiting to give evidence at trial. This will have such a positive impact on the Hertfordshire individuals we support.”

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s chief clinical officer added, “We’re so pleased to be partnering with Beacon and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to help support victims of crime and domestic/sexual abuse in Hertfordshire.”
 
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Report shows officer numbers up and crime down in Herts
Officer numbers are up and crime is down across Hertfordshire, the Police and Crime Commissioner has reported in his Annual Report.

The report covering 2019-20 highlighted new initiatives to help victims of fraud, antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse plus an improved system for public complaints about the police.

The full report has now been published alongside others examining the welfare of detainees, the use of stop and search powers and how police dogs are treated.

David Lloyd said: “The last year showed a very positive picture for the performance of Hertfordshire Constabulary with officer numbers up and overall crime down.

“We are on track to have the largest number of police officers in the county ever. When I set the budget the public overwhelmingly backed my proposal to spend the additional money from the precept on 75 extra officers.

“Every month we have new officers joining the Constabulary, subsequently by April this year there were more than 2,000 for the first time since 2011.”


   Mr Lloyd with Chief Constable outside refurbished station                           Out with officer in St Albans

These officers are supporting proactive work in neighbourhoods, including specialist units such as the Scorpion Team to tackle threats from serious violence, county lines and travelling criminality.

The target is that by the end of 2023 there will be 305 more officers in Hertfordshire which represents an 18.1 per cent increase on the 2018/19 levels.

He added: “Meanwhile in the year covered in the report overall crime in Hertfordshire was down by 1.8 per cent. This gives Hertfordshire the second lowest level of crime when compared to our most similar areas, including Avon and Somerset, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley.”

The latest report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, which rated Hertfordshire as ‘good’ in all areas of keeping people safe and reducing crime, was also referenced by Mr Lloyd.

Other aspects highlighted include additional support for victims of crime and enhanced complaints system for members of the public around policing issues plus criminal justice initiatives.

Since its creation in 2015, Hertfordshire’s victim care centre Beacon has contacted 250,000 people effected by crime and supported many through the criminal justice system.

In the past year it has expanded with a dedicated fraud team which has so far helped residents recover over £300,000. Recently additional staff have been recruited to pilot a new safeguarding Hub in the force’s Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU), and a specialist ASB caseworker.

Mr Lloyd also Chairs the Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board and has been calling for reform of the system.

“Currently it serves neither the accused nor victim as well as it could, this is characterised by low rates of guilty pleas at first hearing, over-listings, a backlog of cases and high rates of victims and witness attrition.

“I have been pulling together all partner agencies in the county to work together to address these issues,” said Mr Lloyd.


   Collaboration with Fire and Rescue Service has become closer                     Officer numbers are oncourse to be the highest ever

Regarding the complaints system, Hertfordshire residents now have a fastest and easier system for raising concerns about police conduct or issues.

The Commissioner has introduced one of the most ambitious of the statutory models, which only two other Commissioner’s Offices in England and Wales are adopting.

This enhanced procedure will see the Complaint Resolution Team (CRT) in the Commissioner’s office having first sight, initial contact and making the assessment on how the complaint will be handled.

Members of the public can make a complaint about any police conduct matter that they have witnessed or the police service generally when they have been directly affected by it, and a dedicated phone line and email address will enable the public to contact the team. All complaints are acknowledged quickly, providing an overview of how the complaint will be managed and progressed.

Other reports submitted alongside the Annual Report covered the findings of the independent volunteer schemes facilitated by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.

These include the Independent Custody visitors who ensure detainees held in police custody are having their rights upheld, plus the stop and search scrutiny panel who examine whether police powers are being used appropriately.

The full reports are available on the Commissioner’s website at https://www.hertscommissioner.org/police-and-crime-plan-herts-pcc
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PCC secures £618,000 to tackle burglary and car crime
Two areas in Hertfordshire are to receive £618,629 to reduce burglary and vehicle crime after funding was secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Hertfordshire was one of 35 PCC areas across the country to receive money from the Home Office Safer Streets fund to invest in targeted measures to design out and reduce acquisitive crimes.

Crime prevention and reduction measures to tackle vehicle theft and burglary will seek to make communities safer in the wards of Cheshunt South and Theobalds, and Cheshunt East.

As part of a series of measures, technicians from the Herts Home Security Service will visit approximately 450 homes to carry out free security assessments and, if required, install new door and window locks, garage defenders and floodlight motion activated surveillance cameras. 

Other measures will include installing new lockable alleyway gates, targeted police patrols and extending the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

The successful bid was announced yesterday (Tuesday) after the money was applied for in a bid by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.



Welcoming the news Mr Lloyd said: “This money will make a real positive difference for those living in those communities who are impacted by burglary and vehicle crime.

“This funding provides us with a key opportunity to make our streets safer and reduce the vulnerability of properties and vehicles to criminality.

“We all have a part to play in reducing crime and I am pleased that the local housing associations, local authority, police, fire service and trading standards will work together to deliver targeted and innovative crime prevention and reduction measures.

“The aim of Safer Streets is to enable closer working with residents to increase community engagement, empower them to reduce crime and build social capital to ensure a long-term sustainable solution.

“I would like to thank everyone, whose hard work made this bid successful, and I look forward to seeing the work start and the results.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn said: “Preventing crimes from taking place is key to creating safer communities. Fewer crimes mean fewer victims, which in turns means fewer people experiencing the shock and upset of having their home broken into or their property stolen.

“We are delighted this bid has been successful – the money will go towards measures that are proven to cut crime and increase community engagement in crime prevention. It will be a significant boost for many people living in the borough of Broxbourne.”

The Home Secretary announced the Safer Streets Fund in October 2019, and PCCs were invited to bid for funding in April this year.

Bidders were asked to outline a plan to reduce crime within a local crime hotspot, demonstrating value for money, evidence of community engagement and long-term sustainability.

Broxbourne Councillor Siobhan Monaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community, said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the Safer Streets application for funding to help tackle crime in our Borough. A total of over £618k has been awarded from the Home Office fund to use in specific areas of Broxbourne to tackle vehicle crime and to help protect vulnerable properties.

“This will be a real multi-agency approach showing true partnership working; engaging residents to take steps to help us help them. We want Broxbourne to be a safe place to live and work and this money will contribute towards that goal.”

Each property that has a visit from the security adviser will also be provided with a bespoke Home Security Pack to tackle burglary and vehicle crime.

The pack will include an entry door alarm, window chime alarm, 24 hour segment timer, fence spikes, NHW pack, crime prevention stickers, steering wheel locks, faraday bags, clutch claws, product marking and catalytic converter marking.

Acquisitive offences are the crimes that the public are most likely to encounter, and they are estimated to cost society billions of pounds every year.

There is strong evidence that these crimes can be prevented by tactics that either remove opportunities to commit crime or act as a deterrent by increasing the chances of an offender being caught.
 
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Extra help for anti-social behaviour victims in Herts
Additional support for victims of anti-social behaviour has been created by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

A new case manager to specialise in helping those effected by ASB has been hired as part of a one-year pilot.

They are based at Hertfordshire’s victim care centre Beacon, in Welwyn Garden City, which contacts every victim of crime in the county.

The ASB workers main role is to provide vulnerable people with a high level of support that will help them to cope and recover following incidents.

Priority will be given to vulnerable victims, those under age, subject to harassment or stalking, and those repeatedly targeted. They can also work with people where ASB incidents have not been identified as a crime, to advocate on their behalf.

They will provide confidential one to one support, liaison with other organisations on behalf of victims, signpost and onward referrals to specialist support.



This will involve working with relevant agencies so that Hertfordshire can provide victims with a multi-agency problem solving approach to their ASB incidents and crimes.

Agreeing the one-year pilot Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “We are always looking at innovative ways of tackling crime and best helping those who are victims of crime.

 “Beacon already offers one of the most comprehensive support systems in the country and this new ASB worker will reinforce their scope of work even further.

“They will work closely with our most vulnerable victims to make a real difference to their lives. They will also work with police, councils and housing associations to make changes to reduce the occurrence of anti-social behaviour.”

The opening of the new service comes just a month after another pilot scheme to support more victims of domestic violence.

The Beacon Safeguarding Hub is based at the Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) at Hatfield Police Station. The five-strong team includes three police staff and two specially trained civilian support workers from the victim service provider Catch 22.

The Beacon Safeguarding Hub is a 12-month pilot to enhance the support offered to domestic abuse victims. They will triage and contact an estimated 300 victims every month.

 
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18 new officers graduate to join Herts Police
While the rest of us went into lockdown, these 18 new recruits went into the classroom to learn the skills needed to become Hertfordshire Constabulary police officers.

And last Friday 10 July, the eight men and 10 women – including a former chef, care worker and engineers – were officially welcomed by Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd said: “I would like to welcome these new officers to Hertfordshire Constabulary. They are embarking on a challenging career, but one which brings huge rewards, opportunities and makes a real difference to our community.

“For several years now, I have raised the council tax because residents have told me they want extra officers on the streets. Hertfordshire now has more frontline officers than a decade ago, and is on course to have its largest ever force.”



“I am always happy and proud to meet our new police officers but I must say, this particular cohort has shown real grit and determination to continue with their studies at such an unprecedented time,” said Ch Constable Hall.

“While many of their friends and family were furloughed or working from home, they have been in the classroom, socially distanced from their tutors and classmates, enrolled in our vigorous 15-week training schedule, and I am very proud of each of them for making it through.

“Their graduation was different, too, with no family or friends invited to watch them parade, as we maintain COVID-safe arrangements, but I was delighted to welcome them to our policing family.”

The training included a mixture of classroom based and practical sessions, covering a vast range of topics including law and powers, personal safety and dealing with volatile situations, first aid and safeguarding vulnerable victims.  On-the-job training continues for many months until they are fit for independent patrol, with two PCs based in Broxbourne, Dacorum, East Herts, Hertsmere, St Albans, Three Rivers, Watford and Welwyn Hatfield, and one based in Stevenage and North Herts.

Trainee PC Becca Duane, 29, sold her Liverpool hair salon business before relocating to Hertfordshire to realise her ambition of becoming a police officer.

“We started our training as the country went into lockdown and it was an amazing experience,” she said. “We couldn’t get as hands-on during the course because of coronavirus, we had to be more creative and improvise, but the training was better than I’d even imagined. It was brilliant. And everyone is like family not friends, it’s wonderful.”

Becca, who aims to work in child protection, is starting her first shifts with Watford’s Safer Neighbourhood Team and Intervention.



If you feel inspired to become a Hertfordshire police officer, visit hertspoliceofficer.co.uk/

Through our ‘Positive Action’ scheme, Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to building relationships with under-represented groups and encouraging them to join our policing family. For more information and support visit hertspoliceofficer.co.uk/diversity
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Extra funding to support victims of sexual crime secured by PCC
Funding for two extra workers to support victims of sexual crimes in Hertfordshire has been secured from the Ministry of Justice.

The successful bid by the office of the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd will provide additional support for male victims and those who are sexually exploited.

A total of £117,250 has been secured by the Commissioner to support this project until March 2022.

Mr Lloyd said: “It is important that victims of rape or sexual assault feel free and comfortable to report what has happened to them. We have identified that male victims and those who are being groomed or exploited are particularly reluctant to reach out for help.

“This grant we have secured will pay for two new Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) who can offer practical and emotional support to victims, regardless of whether they have contacted the police.

“Often with the support of this service, those effected find the strength to engage with the criminal justice process and help to convict offenders who otherwise may have escaped prosecution.”



Applications for the two new Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (IDVAS) will soon be open to individuals and organisations.

Currently there are five other ISVAs who are based in Hemel Hempstead, and cover the whole county. They are based at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Hemel, where sexual assault victims are provided with forensic and supportive services.

Two of the ISVAs support adult victims, two work with young persons aged between 15 and 20 years and there is a specialist ISVA for children.

The ISVAs provide support for anyone who has suffered any unwanted sexual experience, by providing information and advice. This can be before, during and after any court proceedings.

The Commissioner’s office made the bid for the two new workers after they found less than six per cent of referrals to the SARC relate to men, while national data suggests that of all adult victims of sexual violence 16 per cent are male.

Some of the funding therefore, is going to be used to hire a male ISVA. The SARC is currently the only specialist sexual violence service in Hertfordshire that supports male victims and survivors, but it does not currently have a male ISVA and it is thought that this might feel like a barrier to accessibility.

Hertfordshire has also seen a rise in those that been sexually exploited through modern slavery and human trafficking. This includes those who have been forced in to prostitution.
The second new worker is going to be responsible for working with this group, who are traditionally less likely to seek help.

Any organisations interested in this opportunity should contact Jenna Skinner, Programme Manager at the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office on jenna.skinner@herts.pcc.pnn.gov.uk.
 
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