Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Offender Pays
A short week, given the turn of the year, but a big one, as some of the concepts in my open letter to Hertfordshire have generated significant interest.

Particularly, it is my ideas on making offenders pay for the costs that they generate that have really got people talking, both locally and nationally. The publicity started when nearly all of Hertfordshire’s local papers covered my original New Year message where this idea was first mentioned. With television coverage on BBC East and London news programmes and radio coverage including BBC London and Three Counties as well as LBC I have been rushed off my feet. I have done several interviews for the local and national press including the Telegraph and, frankly, steam is coming out of my twitter account 

There is a risk that only the headline story (about offenders paying for their stay in police cells) gets covered, as it is perhaps the most eye catching element of my plan. Other areas being explored include:

1. Suing offenders that injure police officers causing them to take time off work;

 2. A greater emphasis on recovering assets from criminal empires;

3. Considering the introduction of offender funded “anger management” courses for those offenders convicted of violent behaviour;

4. Ensuring that vehicles that are seized for not having tax and insurance are not draining police resources;

5. Expanding speed awareness courses and ensuring that offenders meet the full cost of the programme and associated activity;

6. Exploration of ways of recovering case preparation and police courts time;

7. Increasing the recovery of fixed penalty notices and other financial penalties.

I am delighted by the interest that my ideas have generated. I wanted to start a conversation across the county and that is just what is happening. The fine details of the proposal, which is part of a raft of ideas to make sure that offenders pay for their behaviour, are being developed. Getting these ideas out at an early stage will mean people can help me shape the policy. I am keen to hear what you think and to listen to any suggestions for further ways that offenders could meet the costs of the services they incur.

It is becoming clear that people think offenders should be paying for the consequences of their actions, not the local tax payer. We all have choices but we need to accept the consequences too. If you don’t commit crime you have nothing to fear but if you do, you can be sure that we will be coming after you through the courts and through your wallets.