Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Public meeting on policing and crime priorities in St Albans District
Residents of St Albans and District are invited to discuss the crimes that most affect them.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd along with Chief Inspector Lynda Coates and council leaders will be examining a year-long review into crime and policing in the district.

Members of the public and business owners in the city and areas including Harpenden, Wheathampstead, London Colney and Redbourn are welcome to attend and contribute to a discussion on the topics raised.

The Policing and Crime Review meeting will be held in St Albans this Wednesday January 8th at the Civic Centre, in St Peter’s Street. No tickets are required and it will start at 6pm and finish at 6.45pm.


Mr Lloyd with Ch Insp Lynda Coates

Mr Lloyd said: “I wanted a review of each of the ten districts in Hertfordshire to understand what matters most to the public and where the policing pressures are locally. This enables the police and partners to target resources to best prevent people becoming victims of crime.

“St Albans City and District is one of the safest places to live in the county, which itself has a very low crime rate, but there is always more we can do.”
Facts from the report show that in the year 2018/19 there were an average of 26 crimes a day recorded in St Albans District.

Residential burglaries remain low with just 599 residential burglaries in the year and 100 non-dwelling such as sheds and garages, an average of 1.6 per day.
Serious Sexual Offences (such as Rape and Assault) concerned only 2% of crime with thefts from Persons (such as Pickpocketing) concerned 1% of all recorded crime.

Domestic Abuse related offences (mostly assaults and damage) concerned 11% of all recorded crime.

The report also outlines the challenge that the district faces over the coming years with estimated 1,600 extra homes over the next six years to 62,000, and a population increase from 147,400 in 2018 to 152,000 by 2021 and how this will impact on policing.

The report pulls together a series of recommendations that will drive forward the police and partner activity over the coming year to help address some of the priorities. This includes measures in addition to the dedicated Scorpion teams patrolling hot spot burglary areas and trialling a pilot for web enabled doorbell cameras that photograph callers.

 
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Commissioner prepares for more officers with budget consultation
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed another boost in officer numbers as he looks to keep the council tax precept rise as low as possible.

Frontline officer numbers in the county are already at their highest since 2011 and set to increase further next year.

The recruitment of the extra 75 officers Mr Lloyd promised is on course and is set to be boosted by an additional 91 officers from the first part of the government’s uplift of 20,000 nationally.

Now Mr Lloyd wants to hear the public views on his proposal to raise council tax for the forthcoming financial year to help pay for the larger force.

Mr Lloyd said: “One of my most important responsibilities as your Police and Crime Commissioner is setting the police budget for the year ahead. My priority is maintaining an effective force that keeps people safe, while ensuring an efficient use of tax-payers money.
“It is paramount to continue to protect frontline police officer numbers, and that the Chief Constable has sufficient resources to tackle crime and prevent people becoming victims.

“A delay caused by the General Election means that at this stage I am not able to give you the usual full information on my proposed budget, but I am giving you as much as I can.

“My plan is to raise the precept by enough to avoid cuts when we are working to expand the force. I expect I will be able to do this whilst remaining within the referendum limits set by the government.

“Hertfordshire is getting a significantly larger police force and the costs of running it will go up proportionately. There are also the standstill pressures, including inflation and statutory pay rises that need to be budgeted for.

“When we get the final figures from the Government I will give more details on my proposals. In the meantime I want to hear your views and comments to help me determine whether this is the right strategy for Hertfordshire.”

Every year the Commissioner has a duty to consult with the public about his budget plans for the Constabulary. But due to the General Election the amount of money being given to the Constabulary from central funding and the rules over how much the precept can be increased, have not yet been announced.

Full details can be viewed in his open letter to Hertfordshire at www.hertscommissioner.org

If you would like to give comments, please send them to your.views@herts.pcc.pnn.gov.uk or by completing this short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PCCprecept2020. You can also send a letter to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, 15 Vaughan Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ by midnight on Thursday 9th January 2020.


BACKGROUND:
Running Hertfordshire Constabulary costs just over £200m a year, with almost 60 per cent of this coming from Central Government funding, and the remainder being raised by the Policing Precept part of your Council Tax bill.
Earlier this year Mr Lloyd increased the precept by £2-a-month for the average (Band D) property, to pay for an extra 75 frontline police officers. In the summer officer numbers went over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.
Hertfordshire residents pay the fourth lowest Council Tax Precept out of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (2019) 83.9 per cent of residents think Hertfordshire police are doing “a good or excellent job” and the recent formal inspection rated the force as “good” in all areas.
 
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Stevenage court visit and help for domestic violence victims
Help for domestic violence victims, tackling knife crime and assaults against police officers were all raised when the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner visited Stevenage this week.

David Lloyd started the day at Stevenage Magistrates Court to witness how cases were being dealt with and the effect it can have on the public and police.

Mr Lloyd, who also chairs the Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board, said: “It is vital that I get out from my office and out in to the community to see what is working and what is failing from the point of view of the public, the police and the courts.

“All front line police officers now have body worn video cameras which they can turn on to collect evidence when they attended incidents.

“Capturing these details at the time of the offence means that prosecutions can often proceed even when victims are reluctant to come forward, such as in domestic violence cases.

“The recordings can also be shown to magistrates or a jury to show a true picture of how incidents unfolded and the behaviour of individuals. When presented with this video evidence research has shown offenders are more likely to enter early guilty pleas. This morning there was one case involving an alleged assault against a police officer, in which the body worn footage will provide vital evidence.”

Next up was a round table meeting with Sarah Pateman, Community Safety Manager at Stevenage Borough Council to hear about the work of SADA (Stevenage against Domestic Abuse).

Her staff and police investigators from the constabulary’s DAISU (Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit) told how they use two secret safe-houses in the county to offer protection to victims who are abused or threatened by their partners.

Mr Lloyd also heard from two women who were subject to domestic abuse and how they are now volunteering and working with the group to advice other victims. Every month they take part in a free drop-in clinic which encourages those in danger to come and get free legal and practical advice.

“Domestic violence is one the highest priorities on my agenda. It takes a long time to change attitudes and behaviour, and although we have come so far in the past decade, there will always been more work to be done.
 
“The likelihood of being injured in the street is very remote but the chance of being injured at home either mentally or physically is much higher.”



Earlier this year the PCC approved a £280,000 major new initiative to tackle knife and serious violent crime across the county. It aims to safeguard 200 children and young adults who are at risk of being drawn into gang activity.
Mr Lloyd approved a £140,000 Community Safety Grant from his office which was matched by Hertfordshire County Council and District councils.

The money has be used to recruit additional SOS St Giles’ Trust youth project workers to focus on early intervention and targeted help for young people at risk.

Stevenage based SOS worker Simon Philbert is working one to one with a dozen young people, including two that have come out of custody, to help them stay away from crime and get them back in to education.
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Hertfordshire police headquarters redevelopment takes a step closer
The redevelopment of Hertfordshire police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City has taken a step closer.
In the next year a full business case for the project will be prepared including applying to the council for planning permission for the site in Stanborough Road.
Work began two years ago on the project which will be the most ambitious building project undertaken by the Hertfordshire Constabulary in a generation.
With an ambition to create a Community Safety Hub it will combine the Constabulary headquarters along with office space for other Hertfordshire partners.
Several modern buildings would be retained on the site but three of the large administration blocks and five smaller buildings all built in the early 1970s are set to be demolished.
They have reached the end of their economic life, are inefficient to run and would need a backlog of repairs costing £15 million.
They would be replaced with a modern 8,500m2 three storey building which will be less expensive to build and run, than the cost of keeping the existing buildings.

If the business case is given the final approval next year, building work will be due to start in 2021 and take approximately three years to complete.
Mr Lloyd said: “The current HQ buildings have reached the end of their economic life and are expensive and inefficient to run. The new facilities are designed to remain fit for purpose for the next sixty years.”
“A robust government methodology report has been compiled which shows that this project will save the tax payer money in the longer term and also bring environmental benefits.
“We are building offices fit for Hertfordshire Constabulary in the 21st century.
“Developing a Community Safety Hub on purpose built sites would allow the police and partners to work more effectively together, in modernised and improved facilities, which would further improve public safety.”
Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “This project aims to be a cost effective way to provide modern and efficient facilities to help deliver effective future policing for Hertfordshire.

“The capacity for shared accommodation with partners has the potential to provide further improvements in joined up services for our public, alongside better working conditions for our staff.”
Currently on the site are operational policing functions including the senior officer and command teams, the force control room and units including Major Crime, Scientific Services and Victim Services.
Operational support departments such as the Finance, Fleet, Training and Development are also based there.
Benefits of the redevelopment have been identified as reduced annual running costs, an improved accessibility for staff and the public, supporting joint working with Partners, meeting modern environmental standards.
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Background information on Herts PCC policies in relation to the development
Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan for Hertfordshire 2017-2022 – the plan identifies making smarter use of property as a priority. Working more closely with partners, such as fire and local councils, will provide for more efficient use of buildings. This will lead to savings and provide a better and more coherent service, improving partnership working and accessibility. Given the size of the public sector estate it is not yet used well enough to provide best value to the public. The aim is to address this and explore whether there are new ways to generate long-term income from those assets which can be used to fund policing.
Estates Strategy 2017-2022 – The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Estates Strategy based on which the programme is being delivered sets out the ambition for the force estate to make ‘more efficient use of the police estate’, generate long-term income and to co-locate with other public sector partners where practicable.
OPCC and HCC Fire Collaboration MoU – set out within this MoU is specific mention of the ambition to progress both a collaborative training base and a joint Headquarters. The dependency between these ambitions and the options are considered in the business case alongside the potential financial implications.
The investment objectives for the project are aligned to the Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan for Hertfordshire 2017-2022 and supporting vision for the Community Safety Hub, which has the following key aims relating to the site as follows:
  • To maximise the operational value of the site [that delivers a 5% increase in the number of FTEs being located by 2025];
  • To provide a modern, accessible and flexible environment that is both functional and fit for purpose [that delivers a 20% increase in useable space by 2025];
  • To make more effective use of the blue light estate through joint working arrangements
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Fraud victim gets £23,000 back thanks to Commissioner's new team
A Hertfordshire resident whose family business was close to collapse after a conman stole £23,000 got her money back thanks to new anti-fraud team.

Earlier this year Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd funded the Beacon Fraud Hub project with four specialist members of staff to help tackle one of the highest crime types in the county.

It contacts every fraud victim in county to offered support and advice, and is the first enhanced scheme of its type for victims in England and Wales.

One of those contacted was Karen Oak, from Stevenage, who was got all her lost money reimbursed by her bank after advice from one of the workers.

She is now raising awareness of the cons out there to help prevent others falling victim to a scam.

In August she received a call from somebody claiming to be from her TSB bank, who told her that her personal account had been breached.


Fraud victim Karen (left) who got her money refunded thanks to help of Elaine (right)

Karen, 57, said: "The number that came up on my phone was my bank's number, so that gave me reassurance.

"He asked me to do some security checks and I asked him to do the same. I asked him if I had any standing orders and he told me what they were. I don't know how he knew that."

When asked, Karen confirmed she also has accounts with Barclays bank, so he offered to look into the full extent of the infiltration and rang off.

Karen said: "I waited 20 minutes and a man saying he was from Barclays called. I was told three out of my four accounts had been breached.

"He was very chatty, knew a lot about my accounts, and even chatted about the high level of fraud these days. He got me to open three new accounts and transfer money."

It wasn't until Karen went into a Barclays branch the next day that she realised she had been conned, with £500 stolen from her personal account and £22,500 from the business accounts.

While her banks investigated, Karen couldn't eat or sleep and was physically sick with worry.

On advice from Victim Fraud Case Manager Elaine Crate at the Fraud Hub, Karen wrote to Barclays' Chief Executive and within weeks she had the stolen money swiftly reimbursed.

Karen, who together with her husband and three sons owns Longacre Garden Services in Stevenage, said: "If I hadn't got the money back, what would have happened to the family business? It could have easily broken us."

Warning others, she said: "Don't trust anybody on the phone. If somebody calls saying they are from your bank, call your bank from a different phone - and find the number yourself."


Mr Lloyd with Elaine (left) at the opening of the Fraud Hub earlier this year

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd created the Fraud Hub with a £150,000 Ministry of Justice grant and it is the first dedicated scheme in the UK. Every Herts victim who has lost money is contacted and offered support.

Mr Lloyd said: "I am delighted Karen got her money back and our new Fraud Hub was pivotal in achieving that.

“In Hertfordshire, and a lot of other areas, fraud is the crime that people are most likely to fall victim too. Almost everyone has experience of being contacted by phone or email by someone trying to scam them out of money.

“Everyone is a potential target, and often those that say they won’t be caught out are the ones that hand over money to these very convincing and sophisticated criminals. Remember your bank or the police will never call you up and ask you to transfer money into another account.”


Elaine added: "I spoke with Karen and it was very clear that the effect of the fraud was having a devastating impact on her and her family. She was very distressed and couldn’t eat or sleep and was extremely anxious due to this fraud.  I explained about the new banking code that had been operating since May and that her bank were part of the new code .

"Barclays initially hadn’t filled Karen with a lot of confidence and I suggested that as she had been a genuine victim of a push payment scam she should escalate this to the CEO of her bank explaining the situation and in the hope he would reimburse her.
 
"I was delighted when Karen called me to announce that she had received her money back and I felt  extremely proud that I was able to help and that the information I provided resulted in a positive outcome. I was also very touched Karen took the time to contact me and let me know she had been successful in obtaining a full refund.

"I take great pride in helping the victims of fraud and it is extremely satisfying when we are able to provide information that secures a positive result."


Paid for through a £150,000 Ministry of Justice grant, the new workers are based at the Beacon Victim Care Centre, in Welwyn Garden City. It includes professionals from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Victim Service Team and Catch 22, the charity running Victim Care on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Each month the Fraud Hub are sent a list of every Hertfordshire resident who has reported a loss to Action Fraud, the national Police reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.

Around 600 people a month in the county report being scammed including losing money through a trusted person, dodgy investments, pension theft, romance fraud, internet hacking or bogus telephone calls or letters..
Techniques of the defrauders include pretending to be a victim’s bank, HM Revenue and Customs, internet providers and also the police.

Background
 
Beacon - The Beacon team will contact all victims of crime and, where appropriate, work with specialist case managers to provide a complete wrap-around service to help victims to cope and recover. The team has direct access to Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust Single Point of Access team (Mental Health services), Hertfordshire County Council Social Care Access Team and Hertfordshire Home Security Service to ensure that they can provide assistance quickly and seamlessly. 
Hertfordshire Beacon is staffed by Victim Service Team each day 8am – 8pm, in addition, Catch22 employees work Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm & Saturday 9am – 5pm. By phone: 0300 011 55 55 by email beacconvictimcare@herts.pnn.police.uk or info@hertfordshirebeacon.org
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Police and Fire services working together to find missing people
Hertfordshire’s Police and Fire and Rescue Service are to work closer together to find vulnerable missing people.

This formal arrangement is the result of an agreement signed between the two services to collaborate more extensively.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd and County Council Leader David Williams signed a protocol after a meeting of the recently formed Hertfordshire Emergency Services Collaboration Board.



When asked by the Police, Fire and Rescue Service resources will be used to assist searches including specialist equipment such as thermal imaging cameras, drones, high level platforms, boats and the Service’s command vehicle.

Last week Police and Fire Service personnel and Mr Lloyd visited St Albans Fire Station to inspect and learn about the equipment.

David Lloyd said: “This collaboration on searching for vulnerable missing people, often children or the elderly, is a positive step forward which will make a real difference across the county.

“On average, two high- risk people go missing in Hertfordshire every day. Closer collaboration between the emergency services is one of our priorities.




"It makes sense for everyone that they are as effective and efficient as possible. We are starting to see the benefits and are working on other areas including a joint headquarters and training.”

David Williams said: "Our firefighters use a range of specialist equipment and technology, including drones, to respond to different emergencies.

“This is another area of collaboration where the Police and Fire Service continue to work together to improve how the county keeps its residents healthy and safe.

“At this time of year, as the temperatures plummet, missing people are more vulnerable than ever. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to support the police in resolving incidents that may pose a threat to life as quickly as possible.”

Last year to a total of 5,235 people were reported missing in the county, made up of 708 high risk, 4,114 medium and 413 low risk.

While the Police and the Fire and Rescue Service have been working together for several years on searches on an informal basis, this new agreement formalises the process, including further communication and training.

Many of the missing people reports come from calls from concerned family members, and in some instances external professional partners such as hospitals, social services and the East of England Ambulance Service.

The Fire and Rescue Service have a water rescue team, specialist water equipment, a command vehicle, thermal imaging, and rope access teams. Personnel are trained in search techniques to locate people who may have become trapped or lost within the confines of a building or other structure.




Last year an agreement on the future collaboration arrangements between emergency services in Hertfordshire was agreed by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the County Council.

The formal arrangement set out a number of principles to strengthen joint working which can be pursued under the existing governance structures.

Both the County Council and PCC agreed to explore opportunities for further collaboration including those presented through the next iteration of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s operational plan, known as the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP).

These include better use of estates, including co-locating police and fire headquarters, a joint training base, shared use of drones and a better response structure in cases where both services are needed.
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Refreshed Police and Crime Plan published
A refreshed Police and Crime Plan for Hertfordshire has been published by Commissioner David Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd decided to refresh the Plan halfway through its statutory four year cycle to reflect crime type changes and concerns from the members of the public.

Last month Mr Lloyd’s Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan ‘Everybody’s Business’, was signed off by the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel.
The core of the plan is centred on four themes: Building on Success, Putting Victims at the Centre, Public Focus and Business Sense.

A full copy of the published report can be found here https://www.hertscommissioner.org/police-and-crime-plan-herts-pcc.
“Keeping people safe, putting victims first and cutting crime remain the priorities but we need to be flexible to raising crime types,” said Mr Lloyd.

“Cyber fraud is highlighted throughout this report as it remains to be a threat to everyone in Hertfordshire. I have committed resources to preventing it and helping those who have fallen victim to it.”

Hertfordshire’s victim service Beacon has been expanded with the addition of a Fraud Hub to help those who lose money in what is the most prevalent crime in the county.

He added: “My plan recognises that keeping Hertfordshire safe is Everybody’s Business, not just a job for the Constabulary. So throughout the plan I have asked for more - of the Police, of all public and private sector partners, voluntary sector, businesses and of the public themselves.

“Keeping people safe, putting victims first and cutting crime remain the priorities but we need to be flexible to raising crime types,” said Mr Lloyd.

“Cyber fraud is highlighted throughout this report as it remains to be a threat to everyone in Hertfordshire. I have committed resources to preventing it and helping those who have fallen victim to it.”

Hertfordshire’s victim service Beacon has been expanded with the addition of a Fraud Hub to help those who lose money in what is the most prevalent crime in the county.

He added: “My plan recognises that keeping Hertfordshire safe is Everybody’s Business, not just a job for the Constabulary. So throughout the plan I have asked for more - of the Police, of all public and private sector partners, voluntary sector, businesses and of the public themselves.


“I have focused on maintaining our strong position as one of the highest performing police forces in the country. We are second in the most similar group of areas for lowest overall recorded crime per 1000 head of population.”

The Plan backs the continuation of the neighbourhood policing model, which is more expensive neighbourhood and only a handful of forces across the country have kept.

“This involves the protection of the current local policing model of ten district teams, led by a senior officer.

Another part of the Plan sets out introducing a new rape scrutiny panel which will examine which cases are sent to court and those that are not.

“I am really concerned that when people find out the real low levels of conviction of rape, that they will be put off reporting incidents. It is something I am very passionate about and I want to see action taken.”

With rape prosecution levels remaining low across the country, the new Panel is proposed to introduce more transparency and scrutiny into the system.

The panel will look at rape case files where it has been judged that no crime has been committed, or which were said not to have achieved the required threshold of evidence to be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.

This will provide an insight into the effectiveness of the police investigation and identify lessons-learned for the future management and investigation of cases.

Other new proposals in the report include new mobile speed detection vans and the creation of and a crackdown on lorries driving through villages.



“A number of residents have raised concerns regarding the volume of lorries that are travelling through their villages that ignore signage around weight restrictions,” he said.

A pilot scheme is to monitor lorries and heavy goods vehicles in residential areas which misuse weight restricted routes and frequently exceed the maximum load (7.5 tonnes).

An increase in the Council Tax precept in January is already paying for an additional 75 officers this year, with the number already over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.

A printed copy of the report is available by emailing commissioner@pcc.pnn.gov.uk or calling the office on 01707 806 100.




 
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Simple but effective crime and security advice given to local businesses
With a fifth of crime in Hertfordshire being against businesses simple but effective advice on prevention and security has been given to local retailers.

Shoplifting, cyber fraud, fake currency and burglary were all topics covered at a free breakfast seminar organised by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Police officers and council staff spoke at the event laid on through the Independent Business Advisory Group (IBAG), which was established by Mr Lloyd to help local firms tackle and discuss key crime issues.


Representatives and owners of 25 retailers attended Aubrey Park Hotel, Hemel Hempstead Road in Redbourn last week.

The attendees were welcomed by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner David Gibson and among the speakers were Det Chief Inspector Jon Dick and Inspector Martin Turpin from the Force Control Room.

They spoke about the emerging threats to businesses across the county and what feedback and support will be offered for victims of crime.

The large supermarkets and high street chains made up the top ten most targeted business across the county, with food and alcohol making up more than half of the items stolen.



Retailers were urged to call 999 if the offence was in progress or the offender is still in the area.

Crime Prevention Officer Colin Mann told how crime prevention techniques, CCTV signage, window locks and forensic marking can cut the chances of being targeted.

This could include designing the store layout to deter criminals and ensuring staff only areas have locked doors.

Community Safety Manager Julie Lloyd encouraged attendees to be join the successful Business Watch scheme. She outlined benefits including creating alerts with local policing teams and getting local crime alerts.

Cyber and Financial Investigator Alan Mordey gave advice on phishing emails and postal and phone scams.

He advised that requests to change bank account details from suppliers should be followed up by a phone call and to shred confidential documents.



Computers should be backed up and have security software installed to foil a ransomware attack.

Closing the event Neville Rayner, CBE DL, President of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Chair of IBAG, said: "Retail crime is one of the largest threats for businesses across Hertfordshire and one which we have only started to scratch the surface in terms of understanding the data and considering what the appropriate should be."

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.

 
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Watch my BBC interview on how we are tackling knife crime in Herts
The BBC Look East -West TV took an in-depth look at the work of the  report on the work of the  Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Children and Young Persons Gangs and Schools Team about the risks of getting involved in gangs.
 
The Lives not Knives event was held at Hertfordshire University on last week, and is the latest in a series of events planned to make young people in the county aware of the terrible consequences of getting involved with gangs and violent crime.



The evening had to a powerful and poignant address by Tracey and Brooke Hanson from The Josh Hanson Trust. Tracey’s son, Josh, was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack in 2015. Tracey recounted the traumatic experience of losing a child to knife crime and the devastating effect that this has had on her family.

The previous event was also attended by Chief Constable for Hertfordshire, Charlie Hall, and Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, who provided extra funding to grow the Constabulary’s response to gang and violent crime.
 
Detective Insp Anna Borella, Sergeant Helen Croughton, Brooke Hanson, Gavin McKenna, Tracy Hanson, PC Claire Jones, PS Pete Kendall and PCSO Lindsay Cunningham.

After the event refreshments were provided thanks to Broxbourne Borough Council and Herts Sports Partnership, YC Herts and Fearless were there to offer a variety of positive activities for the young people to engage with and to empower them to make change.

Chief Insp Steve O’Keefe, Sergeant Rachel Brown, PCC David Lloyd,  Detective Insp Anna Borella, Chief Constable Charlie Hall 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd said: “We know that intervening early and preventing people from entering the criminal justice system is key to reducing demand and achieving better outcomes for individuals and families.

“Knife crime is relatively low compared to neighbouring areas, but it is not something that our communities are immune too. It is an area that we have to tackle and I have made it a priority for the constabulary this year.

Brooke Hanson and Tracy Hanson who lost family members to knife crime

“Through additional investment, a larger team of police officers are being deployed to work in schools and with young people to address serious violence. Each district and borough will have at least one named police officer to provide early intervention work.”

Sergeant Helen Croughton from the Gangs and Schools team said: “These events inform young people about the reality of knife crime and gang related violence, which can often be conveyed as glamorous. By hearing first-hand accounts of how devastating the lifestyle has been to other people’s lives, the young people attending are shown the reality rather than the facade.  The speakers all have first-hand experience of knife crime or gang violence which really has an impact on young people and encourages them to make positive choices and recognise dangerous situations and friendships.
 
“Once again I would like to thank every speaker who attended and shared their story, Hertfordshire University and our partner agencies who made this event possible. We would also like to thank the young people who attended the event. We will continue to work with those at risk of gang affiliation and associated criminality to help them achieve positive change.”
 
Anyone who is concerned about gang or knife crime can call the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 101. Young people who need help and advice about these issues can visit: www.herts.police.uk/cyp.
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Road safety ideas for our 4,000 miles of roads welcomed
Groups with innovative ideas on how to improve safety on Hertfordshire’s 4,000 miles of roads are encouraged to apply for funding.

Over the last three years the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd’s Road Safety Fund has given out over £1m for more than 60 schemes to reduce traffic casualties.

Now Mr Lloyd has launched the fourth year of the scheme, which is funded from court costs and fees paid by motorists attending speed awareness courses.


Successful previous applications have included the speed indicator signs in villages and a project to support families affected by a fatal accident.

Public sector organisations, voluntary sector, community groups, parish councils and businesses are eligible to apply.

Opening the fund Mr Lloyd, said: “The Road Safety Fund gives local people and organisations a say in developing and designing local solutions to make our roads safer.

“It is funded by people who have transgressed speed limits, but the Fund is not about further punishing the motorist but educating them to protect all road users.

“It is not used to fund more speed cameras to raise more money, we are looking for ideas to raise awareness and correct dangerous behaviour.”

He highlighted two ideas from the latest Police and Crime Plan. Lorry Watch to target large vehicles which are banned from certain smaller roads and a new speed camera safety van to send out advisory notices at hot spots around the county.

On Hertfordshire’s 4,000 miles of roads last year 26 people were killed, 2,881 injured including 418 with serious injuries.

Particularly vulnerable road users include cyclists, motorcyclists, those aged between 17-24 and pensioners.  

The Road Safety Fund is now open for bids and will close on Friday 8th November 8th at midnight. More details about the fund can be found on the PCC’s website: www.hertscommissioner.org/road-safety-fund
 
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Open police stations and Welwyn and Hatfield crime issues discussed
Open police stations and crime issues across Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield were discussed with the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner last week.

Mr David Lloyd heard residents’ concerns at a stall outside Welwyn Garden City police station, in Rosanne House, at the junction of Parkway and Bridge Road, in the town centre.

It was set up to remind the community there is an operational police station in the town with facilities for interviews.

Mr Lloyd talking to residents and officers outside Welwyn Garden Police station

Mr Lloyd discussed local policing priorities with Chief Inspector Simon Mason, visited a new hostel for homeless ex-offenders and had a meeting with the District Council leaders.

He also met a SOS St Giles Trust Youth Worker, funded by his office to provide targeted youth support and early intervention to help those at risk of being involved in serious violence.

Mr Lloyd said: “We are here today to remind everyone that as well as the HQ site there are two police stations open for business in the district.

 
Passer-bys stop for a chat outside WGC police station                      With Chief Inspector Simon Mason at Hatfield Police Station

“Hatfield has a custody suite and a front counter service seven-days a week. There is also a strong neighbourhood policing team in Welwyn Garden City station who are there to react to the concerns of residents and businesses.

“Crimes and concerns can be reported online, and appointments can be made to see an officer there by calling ahead on 101.”

Chief Inspector Mason said: “We have had great success in reducing burglaries, they are down by over 20 per cent in the last year.

“Also there was a spate of thefts of high value 4x4 cars, such as Land Rovers, and while the issue has decreased, we recommend that owners use a Faraday signal blocking bag if they keep their keys near the front door.”


With workers and visitors to the Oxygen Gateway project

Mr Lloyd also heard about efforts to counter anti-social behaviour in King George V Playing Fields and surrounding roads, speeding in Cuffley and shoplifting in the town centres. There is also a continued effort to tackle County Lines drug dealing and associated violence.

At lunchtime Mr Lloyd visited the Druglink Oxygen Gateway Housing Pathway project in Welham Green.

Using funding from the Commissioner’s Criminal Justice and Innovation Fund the charity have set up a two year pilot operation to house 20 ex-offenders a year, to prevent them being homeless.
So far 17 residents from the scheme have progressed through the house and moved to settled accommodation and found employment.

“Schemes like this are about leadership and one of my main roles is reducing crime. Ex-offenders who leave prison with nowhere to live are a third more likely to commit more crime.

“This hostel plays a vital step in putting people back into the community where they belong. With the right support they can become productive and useful members of the public.”
 
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UK Anti-Slavery Day: Raising Awareness in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire’s Modern Slavery Partnership joined organisations across the country for UK Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October to help raise awareness of modern slavery.  
 
Since 2017 the number of modern slavery offences has been steadily increasing in the county from 10 in 2017, to 55 in 2018/19 however, not all of these were offences committed within the county.
 
It has proven difficult to secure convictions against those involved in trafficking and exploitation, with just five arrests in 2018/19, compared with none in 2017/18. Victims are often identified as at risk of exploitation, but were not willing to engage with investigations, although many of them were removed from harm as a result of action taken by the partnership.  
 
Modern slavery can take many forms, including the coercion of people into forced labour, sex, criminality and servitude. It is a global problem that can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender and ethnicity.
 
The aim of the UK Anti-Slavery campaign is to alert local authorities, companies, charities and individuals to the signs of modern slavery and encourage them to report any concerns they might have. Possible signs listed on the partnership website: www.stopexploitationherts.org.uk.
 
Detective Chief Inspector Tracy Pemberton, from the Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said: “Modern slavery and human trafficking is a growing problem in the UK and we know that there are a large number of offences that go unreported. Often victims are not able to come forward themselves or are reluctant or even afraid to engage with the authorities. Therefore it is important that the public are aware of this problem and know how to spot the signs.
 
“Victims to this crime can be forced to work for little or no money, be beaten, sexually exploited and have their lives controlled by others. However, they may still be living or working in plain sight of the public. Learn how to spot the signs and report any concerns you may have, and you could help free someone from exploitation and abuse.”
 
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, who has pledged his support to the campaign said: “Modern slavery can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, nationality, gender or economic background. Victims are usually vulnerable, and criminals target them in order to coerce them into forced or exploitative work.
 
“We now have a countywide Modern Slavery strategy with a coordinated action plan to identify and reduce all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking by increasing awareness, better coordinating of operational activity, better sharing of information and ultimately providing a better service for victims.”
 
Recently appointed Chairperson of the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership, Jo Fisher, Operations Director for Services for Young People at Hertfordshire County Council, said:
 
“Modern slavery is an under-reported and a little understood crime, but it is happening in Hertfordshire right now. Although difficult to detect, we know exploitation has a devastating and profound effect on the lives of the victims.
 
“The Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership brings together all of the county’s agencies to ensure that victims are identified and supported and offenders are brought to justice. Anti-Slavery Day is about raising awareness of this issue amongst the public and local organisations. Last month, we delivered training to local authority housing leads to help them identify and support potential victims. By helping people know how to spot the signs, we’ll be more likely to be able to help victims get the protection they need."
 
Between 9 December and 13 December, the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership will be running a campaign to highlight the link between homelessness and modern slavery.
 
Anyone with concerns about exploitation should call Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number police 101 (ask for the modern slavery unit) or the national charity-run 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. In an emergency call 999.
 
Beacon supports victims locally and has a hotline: 03000 11 55 55 which is open from Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.
 
Follow the partnership on Twitter @HertsMSP or visit the website: www.stopexploitationherts.org.uk for more information and advice to accessing support.
 
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