Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Expanded Gangs and Schools Team hold knife prevention and information event
Young people and their parents and guardians were invited to an information evening, organised by 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 Tuesday 16 July, 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 began with a talk by Mr Martin Griffiths, trauma surgeon from St Barts Hospital and Violence Reduction Chief for London, who spoke about the traumatic injuries he had seen first-hand.

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

Legal expert Peter Shaw QC then discussed how joint enterprise can mean that by being present during a violent crime you can be convicted even if you took no part in the crime, and explained the sentences handed out in murder cases. 

Ex-gang member Gavin McKenna from Reach Every Generation spoke about his previous gang affiliation and how he now works with young people providing training and coaching. 
 
The evening was brought to a powerful and poignant close 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 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.
 
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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Commissioner's scheme pays for flytip clear-up
Three more districts have joined a scheme where farmers and land owners who are the victims of fly tipping can have the rubbish cleared up for free.

Stevenage, North Herts and East Herts have joined the pilot set up by David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire for those whose green and open spaces have been contaminated.

Two farmers in the new areas have already taken advantage of the scheme. These before and after pictures show the fly tipping sites where the rubbish was taken away.


   Before: Flytipped rubbish at Little Wymondley                                                                    After: Clear up was paid for by Commissioner's fund from criminal's money

Criminals dumped tonnes of aggregate on a private roadway near Hertford Heath, East Herts, and the clear-up cost £550.The second was dumped in Little Wymondley, North Herts.

Both of the clean-up operations were paid for by the PCC using a £20,000 fund that was generated by the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). This is money that has been confiscated from criminals and is put back into crime fighting and victim initiatives.

Existing District Councils taking part include Broxbourne, Three Rivers, Welwyn Hatfield, St. Albans, East Herts and North Herts. They take the lead in investigating and prosecuting fly tipping offences in their areas.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Most of the councils have now joined the scheme which shows how committed all parties are to tackling fly tipping.
“It is a serious crime and it has a significant impact on our community. It blights the countryside and causes substantial costs for farmers and landowners to clear the waste and poses a danger to livestock and wildlife.

“I do not believe it is fair that farmers and landowners are left to pick up a bill, which can run in to thousands of pounds, because someone else has fly tipped on their property.

“Our relentless drive to support bringing offenders to justice by funding enforcement measures, making improvements to security and educating the public on responsible waste disposal, saw a 17.9 per cent drop in fly tipping across Hertfordshire.”
“As part of my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan I pledged to investigate the potential of using money recovered from criminals to be put to good use in this way.

Duncan Jones, Partnership Development Manager and Chairman of the Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group, said: “This latest initiative is another good example of how the relevant Hertfordshire agencies such as local authorities and the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner are working together to deliver new initiatives to tackle fly tipping.”

   Before: This aggregate was dumped on land outside Hertford                                      After: £550 clear up was funded under new scheme

To be eligible for the funding farmers or green space landowners will have to prove they already have a waste disposal contract in place with an authorised collection firm.

The scheme is part of the county wide multi-agency and multi- channel campaign being run by the Herts Fly Tipping Group - #SCRAPflytipping.

Anyone interested in making a claim or finding out more information can contact the Environmental team at one of the four district councils and mention the Police and Crime Commissioner’s private land fly tipping pilot.

In North Herts call 01462 474000 ext 4298 and East Herts call 01992 531528.

Rosalind David, Hertfordshire NFU representative said: “The NFU supports the expansion of the pilot into two of the more rural. The impact of this serious crime not only causes upset and inconvenience, but also leaves a considerable bill for those left to deal with the clean-up operation."

The CLA (Country Land and Business Association) represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses across Hertfordshire.

CLA Regional Surveyor Tim Woodward said: “With almost two-thirds of farmers and landowners affected by fly-tipping each year, with some targeted multiple times each month, we need to take stronger action against this serious crime. It is encouraging to see that landowners in Stevenage who are victims of fly-tipping can now apply for grants to help cover the cost of clearing up rubbish left on their land.”

Land covered by the fund, includes; privately owned woodland and forestry land, land that was formerly used for agriculture parking, land used for horticultural purposes and tree nurseries.

Over the last two years the PCC has committed over £130,000 through his Local Partnership Fund to help local authorities tackle fly tipping on public land across Hertfordshire.
The Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group is a multi-agency taskforce including the Boroughs, Districts and County Council as well as the Police, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Herts Fire & Rescue, the Environment Agency, the National Farmers Union and Keep Britain Tidy which has come together to improve how Hertfordshire responds to fly tipping.

The on-going work programme is resulting in improvements in enforcement capability across the county as well as the rollout of new technology to assist in identifying and prosecuting fly tippers. www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/flytipping
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Increase in the number of front line officers in Hertfordshire continues
The increase in the number of front line officers in Hertfordshire continued this week as fourteen new police officers were welcomed into the Constabulary.

The seven men and seven women graduating having completed a 16-week training course at Longfield Training Development Centre in Stevenage, and the officers will now start their first shifts at their local stations across the county, putting into practice all they have learned.

The new recruits include five former Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), an ex-aircraft technician and a former teacher who will be based across the county.

  New recruits are pushing officer numbers to their highest in seven years

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.
 
The trainee officers also had opportunities to work alongside new Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service recruits, as they completed their respective training at the centre. This included joint exercises and the opportunity to get hands on with sophisticated fire brigade equipment.

During the graduation ceremony they paraded in front of Chief Constable Charlie Hall, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Assistant Commissioner Stuart Nagler and their soon to be chief inspectors as well as family and friends.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “After a vigorous recruitment process these new officers have spent the last few months in intensive training to ensure they are fully equipped to deal with life on the front line. They will be at the core of policing in the county and I am very pleased to welcome them to the Constabulary.”
 
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Assistant Commissioner Stuart Nagler told the new officers: “It is an honour to welcome you to Hertfordshire. You are part of the extra 75 officers being recruited this year who have been paid for by the £2-a-month Council Tax rise.
 
    The intake include five previous PCSOs

“We police by consent in this country, and out on the streets you will have challenges every day. Members of the public can be very demanding, you need to remain strong, civil and firm while also showing compassion and understanding.
 
“Hertfordshire is one of the safest areas of the country, but there are dangers out there which you will be called on to protect the public from and I wish you the best in your careers.”
 
The officers who graduated will be in the following area:

Broxbourne – PC Nicole House and PC Denese Stainfield-Bruce
Dacorum – PC Lucy Hodgson and PC Kenia James
Hertsmere – PC Tommy Hopkins
St Albans – PC Andrew Moir
Stevenage – PC Natasha Angwin, PC Chloe Dagless and PC Andrew Kerr
Three Rivers – PC Mark Whyte
Watford – PC Ryan Bailey and PC Sam Symons
Welwyn and Hatfield – PC Ashley Masters and PC Chloe Roberts

 

Earlier this year the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd increased the Council Tax policing precept by an average of £24 a year to fund an extra 75 front line officers.

The additional constables that are now being recruited and graduated are on course to boost the force officer numbers over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.


 
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Hertfordshire Constabulary joins firearms surrender campaign
Hertfordshire Constabulary is taking part in a national drive to reduce the number of unwanted firearms and ammunition that could potentially fall into criminal hands.
 
During the two-week campaign, which runs between Saturday 20 July and Sunday 4 August, members of the public are encouraged to surrender any unlicensed firearms and ammunition to the police by calling 101.
 
Chief Superintendent Catherine Akehurst, Firearms Surrender Campaign Lead for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police forces, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this important national campaign which is an opportunity to dispose of weapons safely and with peace of mind. Any firearm in the wrong hands can have a devastating impact. If you or a family member has an illegal or unwanted firearm please take this opportunity to hand it in to the police.”
 
Anyone handing over firearms during the campaign will not face prosecution for possession of a weapon at the point of surrender. They can also remain anonymous if preferred. However, any surrendered weapons found to be linked to criminal activity will be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Fortunately there is very little gun-related crime in Hertfordshire, but that does not mean we can be complacent about this. As part of wider crime prevention and reduction initiatives, this firearms surrender campaign can only help make the county safer and continue to keep this type of crime low.”

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls, for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “we are joining forces across the country to help people dispose of guns safely. The amnesty provides an opportunity for people who are in possession of a weapon they should not have or no longer want to dispose of them, without fear of prosecution for possession of a firearm.

"It is likely that there are people who are in possession of a firearm that they have inherited or that they have overlooked or forgotten about. Whatever the circumstances, the amnesty provides the opportunity to dispose of these unwanted firearms safely and with peace of mind. The more weapons we can take out of public circulation the safer our streets will be and it makes it less likely that they will fall in the wrong hands.”
 
The campaign is also an opportunity for members of the public to call 101 and find out how they can apply for certification in order to own a firearm legally.
 
The national firearms surrender campaign is being coordinated by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS).
 
Detective Chief Superintendent Jo Clews, Head of NABIS, added: “Even though UK firearm offences remain at relatively low levels compared to other countries, we cannot be complacent and this surrender will help remove further potential harm from our communities.”         
 
If you suspect anyone is involved with illegal firearms please call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Advice and support for young people is also available at www.fearless.org.
 
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Extra officers and anti-social behaviour discussed on North Herts visit
Extra officers in North Herts are being used to tackle anti-social behaviour and turn youngsters away from crime with football.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd visited Hitchin and Letchworth this week to see how the money raised from the Council Tax precept rise in being used.

He visited Chief Inspector Sally Phillips to talk about the demands in her district, went on patrol in Hitchin and met the Council Leader.


On Monday (July 8th) He also attended a meeting at the Hertfordshire Football Association HQ in Letchworth so discuss their partnership work with officers from the CYP Gangs and Schools unit.

David Lloyd said: “It has been a very useful day, it is essential that I get out on the ground in every part of the county. Although there are common themes, different districts do have some specific issues and policing needs.

“It is heartening to see the extra officers are making a difference and the great work that is being done on everything from anti-social behaviour to knife crime.

“Although North Herts is a very safe area we cannot be complacent or ignore the threat of travelling crime from County Lines and neighbouring areas.”

Chief Inspector Phillips, who is based at Hitchin Police Station, said: “I have been in post here since January and seeing extra officers joining us has been fantastic.

 “We are seeing the benefits helping us better cover the demand.

“They have also gone into the Scorpion team who deal with high risk criminals and carry out proactive policing. This enables us to have get ahead of the game in terms of preventing crimes before they happen.”

Mr Lloyd met two of the new recruits PC Robin Banerjee who is on the fast-track detective scheme and PC Courtney Ferguson who is specialising in neighbourhood policing.



PC Ferguson will be covering the Westmill area for two years, identifying the problems and working on resolving them with the residents.

He took Mr Lloyd to the Westmill Community Centre where he is organising a FIFA computer football tournament and the North Place gardens which were renovated as part of a community project.

Next up was a meeting at the Hertfordshire Football Association headquarters at The County Ground, in Letchworth, with Chief Executive Karl Lingham and Richard Drake, Designated Safeguarding Officer.

They are working with Det Insp Anna Borella and Sgt Helen Croughton from the Children and Young Person Gangs and Schools Team on the Lives Not Knifes campaign.

Earlier this year Mr Lloyd made additional investment in the CYP team for more officers to work in schools with young people to address serious violence.

DI Borella said: “There have been successes, we have engaged with 240 children and young people who have been referred to us. Many of these are at the top end of the risk scale of being or becoming involved in county lines.

“There is a huge link between school exclusion and those that follow this path. Often football is one of the only things in their lives that is constant when everything else is chaotic.”

Karl added: “We work with 25,000 youngsters across Hertfordshire and some of our clubs are bigger than any schools.”

“Our coaches do everything we can to work with the police to safeguard our players and if they are aware of any issues then it is reported.

“Football is a very good way to get through to children who are disengaged from society, whether is it through our pro clubs like Watford or Stevenage or the village clubs.”

He finished the day with a private meeting with North Herts District Council Leader Cllr Martin Stears-Handscombe.
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Every fraud victim in Herts contacted and offered support and advice
Every fraud victim in county is now being contacted by Hertfordshire Police and offered support and advice.
Residents and businesses who have had money stolen by deception are being telephoned and written to, in the first enhanced scheme of its type for victims in England and Wales.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has funded the Beacon Fraud Hub project which has recruited four specialist members of staff to help tackle one of the highest crimes in the county.

Launching the initiative Mr Lloyd said: “Fraud is the crime that you are most likely to fall victim to in Hertfordshire. 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, but sadly it is often the elderly and most vulnerable that hand over money to these very convincing and sophisticated criminals.

“We need to take this threat seriously and do everything we can to prevent individuals and business becoming victims. That is why I have decided to fund this project, the first of its kind, to contact everyone who reports one of these crimes.

   Mr Lloyd with Beacon Fraud hub workers Elaine, Clive and Jamie

“The aim is to support the victims, help them try and get the money back or get compensation, while preventing them falling for similar frauds again.”
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.

During the visit Mr Lloyd met three of the new fraud specialists, police workers Elaine Crate, Jamie Cosnett plus Catch22’s Clive Reader.

Describing her work Elaine told Mr Lloyd: “I have contacted hundreds of fraud victims already, they are grateful for the support as some were still feeling vulnerable and scared.

“They may have been put on the fraudsters’ ‘suckers list’ which means they will be targeted again and again. We can give them practical advice and send out information packs so they know what to look out for. “It can be a devastating crime, some have lost six-figure sums and are suicidal, but even for those that have lost a few hundred pounds can be severely affected by the impact of the crime."

“We need to get the message out there that callers will pretend to be the police or even bank staff, with convincing stories, asking for your card or account details. They may also be doorstep callers offering to do unnecessary work.” 

The case workers from Catch22 are there for the intimidated and vulnerable victims and those that need extra support and assistance. They can put in place complete care plans to provide the maximum amount of assistance.
 
Background – The scale of fraud
 
National picture – The inclusion of fraud and cyber-crime in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) from October 2015 altered the picture of crime. Results show that fraud and cyber-crime are almost equivalent to the volume of all other crime (4.6m offences). Fraud alone accounted for 31% of CSEW crime.
 
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 numbers on course to hit 7 year high

Police officer numbers in Hertfordshire are continuing to climb towards their highest in seven years.

Another fifteen new officers joined the Constabulary on Wednesday (June 20th) at a ceremony at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City watched by family and friends.

The group will join areas across the county including three of each who will be going to Watford or Broxbourne, and two of each who will be going to St Albans, East Herts or Hertsmere.

  Mr Lloyd inspects the new recruits

Earlier this year the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd increased the Council Tax policing precept by an average of £24 a year to fund an extra 75 front line officers.

The additional constables that are now being recruited and graduated are on course to boost the force officer numbers over 2,000 for the first time since 2011.


   Hats off to the 15 new front line officers                                                                  On parade at Police HQ at Welwyn Garden City

Addressing the graduates Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson said
: “Welcome to team Hertfordshire and you are now part of our policing family.

“Policing is the most wonderful job but it is very demanding - this job will inspire, test, stretch, challenge and delight you. You will make a positive difference to people’s lives. Policing is about putting the public first, reducing crime and keeping people safe and visible policing is part of our ethos as we are keen to see more officers on foot and on bicycles so they can interact with the public.”

At the ceremony Mr Lloyd said: “There are three groups that I want to say thank you to today. The first is the Council Tax payer who has given an extra £24 a year on average that I asked for to pay for more officers, and you are some of the officers from that investment.

“Secondly are the family and friends of these new officers, they are undertaking a really difficult job and will need your support.

“Then of course the graduating officers themselves. You in many ways you are giving up your lives for the next twenty five to thirty years to a higher calling. It is a great privilege for you to serve the public in their hour of need.”


  Mr Lloyd addresses the new officers

The officers who graduated will be in the following areas –

Watford – PC Michael Gallagher, PC Graeme Miller and PC Christopher Thorn

Broxbourne – PC Ross Brown, PC Laura Bryan and DC Paul Dicker

St Albans – PC Amy Nugent and PC Lauren Robinson

East Herts – PC Robin Knight and PC Rachael Gunn

Hertsmere – PC Connor Eggenton and PC Daniel Hill

Dacorum – PC Debbie Graham

Three Rivers – PC Michael Branson

Welwyn Hatfield – PC David Lewinton

The PCC has used the increase in the precept to provide the funding for the Chief Constable to recruit and pay for an extra 75 officers next year.

The Commissioner has remained committed to maintaining the neighbourhood policing model in Hertfordshire. The total Establishment figure the 2019/2020 financial year has been set at 2,009 officers plus funding for an additional 25 officers.

The actual number of police officers employed by the end of the financial year in 2012 was 1,984.

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Criminal Justice meeting to help victims of domestic abuse
Supporting domestic abuse victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system were a key focus at this year’s Hertfordshire Criminal Justice Board meeting in public.

For the second year running Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, who chairs the board, invited residents to a special open session.
Speakers included a man who was almost battered to death with a champagne bottle by his partner and a charity that received funding from the PCC’s Innovation Fund to identify criminality connected to problem gambling.

Guests at Welwyn Civic Centre, Welwyn, also got to question panel members including Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Thames and Chiltern Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal and Neeve Bishop Head of Hertfordshire Prison and Probation Service.

  Mr Lloyd opens the meeting

Opening the event Mr Lloyd said: “As your elected PCC, I’m always keen to hear your views and find ways to bring about the same level of democratic engagement that we have in policing into other public services.

“That is why I have been at the forefront of supporting holding an annual criminal justice board meeting in public so that it gives you an opportunity to hear first-hand some of the challenges in how the criminal justice system is working.  

 
    Residents listen to the Board meeting in Welwyn Civic Centre                               Domestice abuse survivor Kris was almost killed by his partner

“We all must continue to look at how we work together to deliver services that are efficient and effective, that improve the quality of justice and lead to better outcomes for victims, witnesses and those accused.

“While we’ve already made great strides in improving the way in which victims are treated in the immediate aftermath of a crime and during the investigation, sadly things often go less well with victims come into contact with courts and the wider criminal justice system. The way the system is run doesn’t take into account victim and witnesses entire journey from the crime being committed to the court case and aftercare support.”

Next the panel and audience were given a series of talks of how victims enter and progress through the criminal justice system and support that is available through Beacon, Hertfordshire’s Victim Care Centre.
Emma Jones from Catch-22, the service providers of Beacon, told how they would help victims even if the crime had not been reported to the police.

   DCI Stuart Cheek, Kevin McGetrick and Emma Jones                                    Thames and Chiltern Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal

Then Kris explained how he had been supported through the criminal process after he was attacked by his partner. He was in surgery for eight hours after being hit repeatedly with a bottle.

“I am a survivor of domestic abuse after my partner of ten years was arrested for attempted murder. He bludgeoned me around the head with a champagne bottle. He was later jailed for six years for GBH.”

Jaswant Narwal told the audience: “Kris is a reminder that we are working with people to try and get justice. We are independent of the police and other bodies and our role is to apply the law and present a case to the court.

“Just because there is not a charge or conviction does not mean that there is not a victim. We have to ensure when charging that there is a sufficient evidence to provide a realistic chance of conviction and that it is in the public interest.”

Later the meeting was given an update on an investment from the Commissioner’s Criminal Justice Innovation Fund, which uses money confiscated from criminals to help victims and support crime prevention.

  Nicole Adeyinka from Citizens Advice witness service

A year ago funding was awarded to GamCare to research the effect problem gambling is having on fuelling criminality and the impact on families.
During the discussion the audience heard how “gambling is as destructive as drugs” and how it is linked to crimes including fraud and criminal damage.

This is the second year a Board meeting has been held in public after 70 members of the public attended the inaugural one at St Albans City and District offices last July.
Please visit www.hertscommissioner.org/herts-cjb for more details about the Board's work.
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Safe, satisfied and saving money - residents views of policing in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire residents are ‘safe, satisfied and saving money’ the Police and Crime Commissioner told a scrutiny panel.
Mr David Lloyd made the statement as he presented his Annual Report 2018-19 to the councillors of the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel, which scrutinises the performance of his office.
He was questioned at the meeting, held at Broxbourne Borough Council, in Cheshunt, on Thursday evening (June 13th) about police officer numbers, knife crime, fly tipping, council tax precept and stop-and-search powers.
“At last year’s meeting it was said that I always talk about the positives and less so about the negatives. So I have tried to ensure that the picture I am giving you this year is balanced,” said Mr Lloyd.
“But with regards to policing and crime we are still in a good place. We continue to be a really safe county. It’s remarkable how low the crime rate is given our geographical location. The public have a high regard for Hertfordshire Constabulary with 83.9 per cent of residents thinking the police are doing a good or excellent job, that it the highest score for any Constabulary in the country.
“Last year I increased the Council Tax precept to bring more officers on to the front line and I am delivering on that. Officer numbers are ramping up.
“Our Council Tax policing precept last year was £164 a year. Hertfordshire currently have the fourth lowest policing element in the UK, behind Northumbria, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. We are 32 per cent lower than the highest force and 14 per cent lower than the average of all 42 forces.”
He added: “I have put victims at the heart of everything that we do with our Beacon service. I did not get together with fire in the way in envisioned but we are still working together to have a seamless blue light service as possible.
“The five key achievements have been putting victims first, keeping crime low, protecting local policing, keeping tax low and increasing officer numbers.
“If I had to summarise the public in Hertfordshire are safe, satisfied and saving money.”
The report given to the panel showed Hertfordshire has the third lowest level of crime within its most similar type of counties and is rated 15th nationally when comparing levels of crime per 1000 head of population.
Asked about the number of police officers in Hertfordshire Mr Lloyd replied: “The concern I still hear is that we have had a big cut in police officer numbers in Hertfordshire. When I was first elected in 2012 we had around 2,000 officers and broadly we have always had around those numbers. We have still got the same now as we had then.”
In 2012 the establishment number of officers was 1,984 and for this year it is 2,034 – up 75 officers from last year.
Mr Lloyd was questioned about what was being done to tackle fly tipping across the county, to which he replied it remained a priority while different measures needed to be taken against the individuals and organised crime groups responsible.
The report also 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 and also the stop-and-search Scrutiny panel who examine whether police powers are being used appropriately.
Other aspects highlighted by the report was the additional support for the victims of fraud following a successful trial supporting over 900 victims. Four new case workers have been brought in to help those who have lost money in the county after they have reported the loss to Action Fraud.
Collaboration works and shared specialist units with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire has enabled on-going gross savings of £37.3 million since 2012/2013.
The Proceeds of Crime Act has seen Hertfordshire get £2.2million back from criminals to invest in services and support to victims of crime.
The report which will soon be available on the Commissioner’s website at http://hertscommissioner.org/ by the end of the month.
ENDS
Editor’s notes
Hertfordshire has the third lowest level of crime within its most similar type of counties and is rated 15th nationally (of all 43 police forces in England and Wales) when comparing levels of crime per 1000 head of population (Source: HMICFRS Value for Money profiles 2018)
83.9 per cent of residents think the police are doing a good or excellent job, that it the highest score for any of the 43 forces in England and Wales (Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, April 2019).
 
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PCC volunteers recognised in annual awards
More than 150 guests came together at Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City last night (Thursday, June 6) to celebrate the valuable contribution that volunteers make to the Constabulary.

Held during National Volunteers’ Week, the sixth annual Citizens in Policing Awards honoured the dedication of the force’s 340 Police Support Volunteers and 300 Volunteer Police Cadets.

It also recognised the achievements of Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary and those who volunteer in schemes that provide independent scrutiny delivered through Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.

Volunteer Philip Jerred receives the PCC Team of the Year Award on behalf of the Dog Welfare Visitors

The ceremony was opened by Superintendent Julie Wheatley, who leads the Constabulary’s Workforce Development department, before Chief Constable Charlie Hall, Commissioner David Lloyd  and guests of honour Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss and High Sheriff Sarah Beazley presented the awards, in front of an audience of volunteers and their family and friends.

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s Citizens in Policing Awards, which were presented by Mr Lloyd and organised by Volunteer Officer Stephanie Evans.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Commissioner David Lloyd present Ben Richardson with his certificate as winner of PCC Volunteer of the Year award

Mr Lloyd said: “Volunteering is the DNA of what makes this country great. I strongly believe that as citizens we all have a role to play in creating and maintaining a safe community. Keeping Hertfordshire the safe county that it is today is Everybody’s Business. 
“It is clear that all our volunteers are extremely committed to their roles and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and on-going dedication.”

PCC Volunteer of the Year was won by Ben Richardson from the Community DriveSafe Team in Bovingdon. Ben applied for a DriveSafe scheme in Bovingdon in July 2014.  Since that time he has supported and guided his group of volunteers, who rarely miss a month of roadside speed monitoring. Ben has produced resources which he has freely shared with other DriveSafe groups across Hertfordshire, to assist with their vehicular understanding and recording.

The Independent Dog Welfare Advisors took the award for Volunteer Group of the Year. The team are very passionate about the role and the welfare of the dogs is paramount. All of the volunteers have shown their commitment to the scheme by attending all meetings and even freeing up plans to be able to make late notice visits. The volunteers have assisted the Volunteers Team when speaking with other forces to help schemes get up running, share best practice and provided useful insights. During the last year, the six volunteers have completed 45 visits.

Several other volunteers were nominated for their work

Addressing guests on the night, Chief Constable Hall said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to working with our local communities to reduce crime, catch criminals and keep people safe. Our Police Support Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the constabulary to achieve these aims.“I would like to thank all our volunteers for their support and dedication. We value greatly the commitment that they make to policing.”

A new category was introduced this year to recognise Exceptional Contribution to the Mini Scheme. This was won by Olivia Dixon. Olivia has introduced Mini Police into all three schools in her area of Stevenage and one school in the neighbouring ward. She has created two new interactive sessions, one of which was an age appropriate presentation around drugs, after it was revealed by the National Crime Agency that children as young as 11 are being exploited by gangs running county lines drug networks. She shared this presentation with the Mini Police coordinators and it has subsequently been disseminated countywide. She works hard to promote Mini Police and has been on local radio to talk about the programme.

For more information about the Constabulary’s Police Support Volunteer Scheme and how you can get involved, visit www.herts.police.uk/PoliceSupportVolunteers
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Disabled Police Association hosts its first Annual Conference in Herts

The Disabled Police Association (DPA) has held the first ever Annual Conference in the UK - organised by a Hertfordshire officer.

Formed in July 2012, the association welcomed members of the police family from across the country who live with or care for loved ones with disabilities.

The event yesterday, with the theme ‘Enable not Disable’, was held at The Fielder Centre in Hatfield and sponsored by Police Mutual and Police Care UK.

It was also supported by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

DPA president Dr Rob Gurney, who is also an officer with Hertfordshire Constabulary working within Organisational Learning, said: “The aim of the event was to bring together those who work within policing and live with disabilities to provide support and advice as well as share good practice in relation to supporting officers and staff with disabilities.”

   Commissioner Mr Lloyd wth Dr Rob Gurney
The DPA is a national body that represents disability support networks within police forces across the UK. Its main aim is to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people who work for police forces.

The event’s guest speakers were Permanent Secretary at the Home Office Sir Philip Rutnam, who spoke about his role as the Civil Service Disability Champion, and CEO of The Police Dependents’ Trust Gill Scott-Moore, who spoke to guests about the work of the charity in supporting ill or injured people.

There were also contributions from NPCC lead for Disability Janette McCormick QPM, Hertfordshire Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant, Vice-President of the DPA Simon Nelson from Sussex and Vice-President of the Police Superintendents Association Ian Wylie.

Rob said: “Today’s event provided some really positive learning outcomes and showed the valuable contribution that those with disabilities make to policing up and down the country.

“We are thrilled that so many people with disabilities were able to attend and could highlight their concerns and the challenges that they face.  The conference has provided an incredibly valuable insight into disability in today’s police service.”

Hertfordshire Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “I was delighted to be able to support today’s event. I have made it clear to all of my officers and staff that it is essential that we, as individuals and a police force, work hard to ensure that everyone feels properly valued by the organisation and as a result are able to give their best.  We all have individual needs to be able to achieve this and it is essential that our officers, staff and communities understand that we will recognise and respect different needs to avoid prejudice and ensure our service is the best it can be.”

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: “I am pleased to be here today to recognise and support every member of the policing family with a disability. Hertfordshire Constabulary is proudly a force that promotes equality of opportunity for all employees and provides support for any that need it. 

“It is great to see Rob Gurney, a Hertfordshire police officer, leading the way for this national association and promoting the message that a career in the police is open to everyone in our community.”
 
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Custody visitor volunteers required
Volunteers interested in making unannounced visits to police custody to check on detainee’s conditions are being asked to come forward.

The Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd’s office runs the award-winning scheme which ensures suspects are provided with the proper rights, treatment and advice.

As part of the current National Volunteer’s Week people who live or work in the county are being asked to join the team of 37 Independent Custody Visitors.

They will be responsible for carrying out inspections at Hertfordshire’s two police custody suites in Stevenage and Hatfield, which are visited around 150 times a year as part of the scheme.

Volunteers work in pairs, will be given full training plus expenses and are expected to do around eight visits annually.

   Custody Volunteers Sharifa Chaudry and Rod Cates inspect the facilities at Stevenage Police station
Mr Lloyd said: “While I am increasing frontline officer numbers this year to their highest since 2011, more than 40 per cent of the county’s residents regularly lend their time to support others. 

“The police and the criminal justice services are hugely aided by the direct involvement of local people prepared to volunteer their own time to do something for their community. 

“As citizens I strongly believe we all have a role to play in creating and maintaining a safe community and keeping Hertfordshire the safe county that it is today.

“I have responsibility to empower people and provide them with the opportunity to do their bit both by working with the police and by developing a wider volunteering agenda. The ICV volunteers perform a vital and rewarding role.

The Independent Custody Visiting (ICV) Scheme offers protection and confidentiality to detainees and the police, as well as reassuring the community at large. The aim of the scheme is to enable you as an ICV to visit police stations in order to inspect the upholding of detainee rights, health and wellbeing, in addition to auditing the condition of custody suites. It aims to have volunteers from all backgrounds to match the demographics of the county.

Last month the Hertfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner office won a prestigious national award for the quality of its independent custody visiting scheme.

The inaugural Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance awards granted its scheme a Silver Award for the way it was run.

To volunteer or for an informal chat contact Stephanie Evans, Volunteer Officer on 01707 806147 or email stephanie.evans@herts.pnn.police.uk
You can get more details from visiting the Commissioner’s website http://hertscommissioner.org/ICV

 
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