Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Active Citizens playing their part
Last week saw my busy schedule continue, with interesting events across the county. As well as launching two new campaigns, I met farmers and others with an interest in the countryside at the annual Barn Meet in snowy East Herts; discussed road safety with volunteers in Royston; and visited the University of Hertfordshire.

 On Wednesday I braved the snow and headed for a barn meeting in Hunsdon. Despite the cold, close to 100 hardy souls - mainly farmers – turned up to discuss their issues. What really struck me about this event was that this is a community who want to help themselves - these weren’t passive citizens, but active members of the community who want to work with the police (for example, by providing information about suspicious vehicles in the locality) to cut crime. I want to see more of that. It was a really enjoyable morning made all the better by the bacon rolls and coffee generously supplied by the National Farmers Union.


I headed north on Thursday to Royston on the Cambridgeshire border. My highlight was meeting volunteers from the Barkway and Barley Community speedwatch team. Over the past year they have mounted active patrols checking the speed of passing motorists, which has helped reduce average speeds through both villages. This sense of the local community wanting to play a part in improving the quality of life in their village was really heartening. I will be discussing with the Chief Constable how we can develop this model across the county.

 

I then met some local councillors from the town and had a lively discussion about measures to improve safety and reduce crime – they were full of praise for their local sergeant. It was also fascinating to hear about how local businesses had got together as part of the Royston BID scheme to provide more Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras in key locations. Crime has dropped as a result and it made me reflect on the different ways that resources can be used to help attack criminals.

In the evening I attended the first meeting of the Police and Crime Panel. There was plenty of robust challenge and positive engagement and I look forward to working with the Panel over the coming months.

Friday saw more engagement events. In the morning, I visited a women’s centre and a member of my team went to Age UK’s Christmas bash in Dacorum to engage with 300+ of our older residents. Among the tinsel and turkey, they discussed my role and the priorities I have for the people of Hertfordshire.

I spent an enjoyable afternoon with students and staff from the University of Hertfordshire. It provided another opportunity to meet local people and hear about the issues affecting them. The group I am speaking to in the picture, like the farmers in North Herts, took a real stake in their community and wanted to part of the solution. One young woman volunteered to be a special on the spot – brilliant.

Looking ahead, a highlight this week will be meeting retailers in St Albans. In the meantime, please let me know what you think about policing and crime in Herts. Use the contact me link or my Twitter feed @HertsPCC to get in touch