Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
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.”

 
...Continue
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.”
 

 
...Continue
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.”

BACKGROUND:
 
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:
2015
2014

 
...Continue
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

 
...Continue
Statement on Randox Testing Services
A criminal investigation involving several staff at Randox Testing Services is underway after the company found toxicology data had been compromised.

This investigation has an impact on a large number of police forces around the country, including Hertfordshire Constabulary.

David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire said:

“I have raised the issue with the Chief Constable who assures me the impact on Hertfordshire is currently limited to two cases and I will continue to monitor the situation.”

Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Chair, Dame Vera Baird QC said:

“Police and Crime Commissioners have been made aware of the issue relating to Randox Testing Services and I am sure that they will be raising their concerns with their Chief Constables if they have not already done so.

“At this stage we know that Greater Manchester Police are leading on a criminal investigation, which is supported by the Forensic Science Regulator, and I know that PCCs will continue to monitor the impact of these developments locally.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Forensic Science, Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said:

“We have been made aware of a quality failure with Randox Testing Services (RTS) which is currently being investigated and a criminal inquiry has been launched by Greater Manchester Police.

“Randox has provided each force with a list of cases that could have been effected. Working in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), we have provided guidance to forces so they are able to review each case to determine if compromised data played a part in prosecution.

“While this investigation is ongoing, we are working with a number of forensic service providers and the Forensic Science Regulator to ensure that any requirement for forensic services is dealt with in the normal timeframes.”

Randox Testing Services Statement:

“Following an internal investigation in January 2017, Randox Testing Services uncovered evidence that suggested an amount of toxicology data had been compromised and immediately contacted the relevant authorities.

“This action led to a criminal investigation and two members of our Manchester laboratory staff were arrested for activities which were non-compliant with their legal responsibilities and our well-established practices and procedures. All further appropriate internal action is being carried out.

We take this breach of our stringent Quality Assurance systems very seriously and are working round the clock to address the issues that resulted from this investigation.

“Randox Testing Services will continue to work tirelessly to support the ongoing police investigation.”

Home Office statement:

“We are aware of a serious allegation regarding an individual employed at Randox Testing Services.

The matter relates to analysis of toxicology analytical data, and is currently being urgently investigated by the Forensic Science Regulator and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

“A criminal inquiry has also been launched by Greater Manchester Police and it would therefore not be appropriate to comment further.”

GMP statement:

“Greater Manchester Police have been asked to conduct a criminal investigation into forensic results issued by Randox Testing Services (RTS).

“Randox Testing Services have provided forensic services to police forces, including GMP, for the past two years. The organisation is being fully co-operative of the investigation.

“Two men, a 47 year-old and a 31 year-old, have been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and released on bail until 6 March 2017 pending further enquiries.”

CPS spokesperson said:

“We are working with the Home Office, police and the Office of the Forensic Science Regulator to assess the impact of the testing failure at Randox Testing Services.

“This includes establishing which cases have been affected by this issue and working with other agencies to decide what action should be taken in relation to those cases.‎”

 

The National Police Chief’s Council has asked for all media enquiries to be directed to their press office:

 

Telephone: 020 3276 3803 during office hours.
Email:
press.office@npcc.pnn.police.uk

For urgent media queries out of office hours, please call the duty press officer on 07803 903686.

...Continue
1000 Films Submitted to Beacon Film Festival
With just under a week to go to the Beacon Film Festival, organisers are working hard to whittle down over a thousand short film submissions to just twenty films to be shown on the evening.

The films will be premiered at the Weston Auditorium at the University of Hertfordshire on Thursday the 23rd February.  The Beacon Victim Care Centre and Oaklands College, who are hosting the event, are delighted with the positive response they have received both locally and around the world.




Beacon is commissioned by Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, who said: “My Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan talks about victims being at the heart of the system, not criminals.

I am delighted to see that we got such a wide international entry. I think we need something that celebrates victims and allows them to take back their lives and that is what this festival is doing.”

BTEC Creative Media and Foundation Degree students from the college have also been tasked with creating films for the festival as part of their on-going course assessments.

Oliver Samuel, Lecturer and Filmmaker at Oakland’s College praised the students’ enthusiasm.

He said: “Being a victim of crime is something that a lot of people can relate to. The students’ inspiration comes from within, but they have to work inside a tight brief and to have creativity on demand like that is not always an easy thing to do.”

The aim of the evening is to share stories and short films from around the globe to raise awareness about the issues faced by victims of crime.
The event has been put together to support the 27th Annual European Victim Awareness Day.  It is just one of the activities that will feature as part of the Victims’ Rights Week, which takes place from the 20th to the 24th February.

The film festival will start at 6pm. Tickets are still available and are free.

Please register your interest by this link and further details will be sent.

More information about Victims’ Rights Week is available on the Commissioner’s website.
...Continue
Appeal for Survivors of So-Called 'Honour' Based Crimes
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire has commissioned pioneering research into so-called ‘honour based violence’ in the county to improve services.

Over the next month, the University of Roehampton and University of Essex will conduct the study to better understand the experiences of victims and survivors.

People will be asked about their experience of reporting crimes like FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), forced marriage and other abuses to the police or their reasons for not deciding to do so.

Victims coming forward are assured that strict confidentiality will be provided and special arrangements for interviews and any language requirements can be made.

So-called 'honour based violence’ – or HBV – is a collection of crimes which may have been committed in the belief of protecting or defending a family or community’s honour.

David Lloyd, the PCC for Hertfordshire, says these are appalling crimes.

“I dislike the term because there is no ‘honour’ in this kind of violence and it should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Because of the type of abuse, it’s often very difficult to identify victims and survivors and we need people to come forward and give us their experiences so we can improve our service for others.”

The responses to the survey will inform the commissioning of services from the Hertfordshire victim’s centre Beacon and contribute to the domestic abuse action plan.

Aisha K. Gill, Research Project Lead and Professor of Criminology at the University of Roehampton said:

“Victims and survivors of ‘so called’ HBV, forced marriage and FGM suffer life-changing or life threatening effects and effective support is essential in managing the trauma.

Victims and survivors are not always aware and confident of the support available and this can prevent them from coming forward. I therefore welcome this opportunity to work with Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to solve this problem”.

The research team would like to hear views from victims and survivors and they can be shared by contacting Professor Aisha K. Gill on email - a.gill@roehampton.ac.uk - or by calling or texting 07825 972 263.

There are more details about the study here.


More details about so-called ‘honour’ based violence here.
...Continue
Herts Police Get Clean Bill of Health on Stop and Search Scheme
Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has welcomed a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which confirms Hertfordshire Constabulary is meeting the requirements of the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme.

This national scheme was set up by the Home Office to answer complaints that stop and search powers were being used too often and without sufficient public scrutiny.  Hertfordshire was one of the first forces to sign up to the scheme and it has now been confirmed they are fully compliant with all aspects of it.

Commissioner David Lloyd said: “This is a significant coercive power and my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan makes a commitment that it should be used properly in Hertfordshire.

I hold the Chief Constable to account for doing so and I have set up an independent scrutiny panel to provide regular public feedback.  I am pleased that HMIC has recognised the effectiveness of the work we are doing.”

 
...Continue
Minister Backs Close Relationship Between Police and Fire
David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, has welcomed the strong endorsement by the Minister for Policing and Fire of the case for closer emergency service working and actions he is taking to make sure the police and fire service are more closely aligned. 

In a speech on Tuesday, Brandon Lewis MP reminded PCCs and fire authorities of new legal duty to examine closer co-operation and how PCCs can have a bigger role in governance. 

In Hertfordshire, an outline business case for PCC control of the fire authority is being prepared and the options will be presented to David Lloyd.

The Commissioner, who attended today’s speech, says the direction of travel is clear:

“The Minister wants PCCs to look at the relationship between the fire and police services in their area, and that’s what I’m doing.

If the business case shows there could be significant benefits to having PCC oversight of both police and fire services then it’s something we must look at.”

Read the speech here.


Watch the speech here:

...Continue
Magistrates' Association Chief Joins PCC Team
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, has appointed the head of the Magistrates’ Association as his new chief executive.

Chris Brace JP, who has also run a housing association and was campaigns director at the Royal Association of Disability Rights, will join the PCC’s office following the confirmation hearing of the Police and Crime Panel.

He replaces the previous chief executive Roy Wilsher, who will become chair of the National Fire Chief’s Council in April.  Roy is also the Chief Fire Officer for Hertfordshire.

David Lloyd said:

“Chris has held a number of senior positions and his focus on criminal justice makes him a perfect fit for the role of Chief Executive.

Working to reform the criminal justice system in Hertfordshire is a key priority for my second term as Police and Crime Commissioner and Chris will play a central role in doing this.”

At the panel meeting, the Commissioner also paid tribute to Roy Wilsher’s work over the past 4 years.

“I’d like to thank Roy for the hard work he’s done in partnership working with other agencies and wish him well in the new role.”

The appointment of Chris Brace will be confirmed subject to references and other checks.

 
...Continue
Commissioner's Budget Approved
The Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel has approved an increase to the police part of the council tax in order to protect local policing in the county.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, proposed an increase 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.

Speaking after the meeting, David Lloyd said the small rise was necessary:

“I’ve always said I will not charge the residents of Hertfordshire a penny more than needed, and that remains the case.

Increased pressures on our teams combatting domestic abuse, the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults – combined with a drop in funding and delays to savings – mean we must make this difficult choice.

However, I’m pleased to say that local policing will receive the funding because time and again it is the thing residents tell me is most important to them.”

As part of the consultation, an open letter about the proposals was circulated to residents via the county’s OWL network, and interviews were held on local radio stations and in newspapers.

261 residents responded to the consultation, with 75% of those supporting the increase.

* The increase in council tax for each band property is as set out below:

 
  Band
  A B C D E F G H
                 
Precept 2016/17 £    98.00  £  114.33  £  130.67  £  147.00  £  179.67  £  212.33  £  245.00  £  294.00
                 
Proposed Precept 2017/18 £  101.33  £  118.22  £  135.11  £  152.00  £  185.78  £  219.56  £  253.33  £  304.00
                 
Annual Increase £       3.33  £       3.89  £       4.44  £       5.00  £       6.11  £       7.23  £       8.33  £    10.00
                 
Weekly Increase £       0.06  £       0.07  £       0.09  £       0.10  £       0.12  £       0.14  £       0.16  £       0.19
                 
 
The original press release and open letter to residents can be found here.
 
The full report on the budget to the Police and Crime Panel can be found here.

 
...Continue
Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan Passes Panel
The new Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan: Everybody’s Business 2017-2022, set out by the Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, has been formally approved by the Police and Crime Panel.  

It is a duty on all PCCs to produce a Police and Crime Plan, though in Hertfordshire the name has been changed to Community Safety and Criminal Justice plan. This reflects the new emphasis and direction the Commissioner wants to take in the next 5 years.

Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I welcome the positive response I have received to the new edition of my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan.

This new plan sets out the strategic direction for community safety and criminal justice across Hertfordshire and will be used by the Chief Constable, Charlie Hall, to help develop an Operational Policing Plan which will set out how he, along with many other partners, including our community safety partnerships, will deliver on the priorities set out in this plan.”

The Commissioner is required to consult with the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel on his strategies for policing, as well as the precept (the money collected from council tax for policing) and certain key appointments.

This follows 6 weeks of public consultation, where the plan was circulated to key stakeholders and partners for their views. This included the police, local authorities, health services, criminal justice agencies, the private and public sectors.

In total 1,100 residents and stakeholders responded to the consultation and detailed responses were received from all district and borough councils.
The new plan will be published and made available for the public to view on the Commissioner’s website from mid-February.

You can view the agenda to the panel, and the plan here:
...Continue