Commissioner's first 'District Day' focuses on St Albans City and District
The Police and Crime Commissioner visited St Albans City & District on Monday (November 18) in the first of a series of days spent in each of the 10 districts and boroughs in Hertfordshire.
The newly-launched ‘District Days’ allow Commissioner David Lloyd to focus on one area in detail for one day, exploring on-going work by police, local authorities, as well as business, charity and volunteer groups in the district to help keep the local community safe.
Commissioner David Lloyd explained: “Engaging with the community across Hertfordshire has been a priority during my first year in office. By understanding the issues that people are facing and hearing their ideas and concerns, we can develop plans to change things for the better. 
“I regularly travel around the county meeting groups and organisations, but these ‘District Days’ enable me to take a close up look at the work going on within each of the 10 districts and boroughs. I was delighted to visit St Albans City & District for the first of these days.”
Commissioner Lloyd began the day at St Albans Police Station, meeting James Blake, Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council and chairman of the district’s Community Safety Partnership, and St Albans’ Chief Inspector Ken Townsend, who is vice chairman of the partnership. The group discussed the continuing drop in crime across the district and how the council works together with the police and other partners to target resources where they are needed most.
He then joined officers from the Operation Scorpion team who were patrolling the district in an unmarked police car equipped with some of the latest crime-fighting technology. He also joined the Safer Neighbourhood Team for a walk round of the city centre and saw a demonstration by Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service as part of National Road Safety Week.
Commissioner Lloyd also met with representatives of the business community and Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder Community Engagement and Localism for St Albans City and District. Part of the Commissioner’s strategy is to see what lessons the police can learn from the business community as well as discuss what can be done to reduce business-related crime.
Cllr Read said: “The Council, as a member of the Community Safety Partnership, is working with partners on schemes and initiatives to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the District. Our Community Safety Partnership has recently organised a project to reduce car crime and the Council’s Community Protection Team is also about to part fund a caseworker to provide support to victims of anti-social behaviour.”
Commissioner Lloyd visited the city’s CCTV operations room and then on to three community-based projects. The first was Youth Talk which is a St Albans-based counselling and psychotherapy service for 14-25-year-olds and which received funding from the Commissioner’s Community Fund.
He then visited the Safe Streets Outreach Service (SSOS) at Open Door St Albans, which helps homeless people in the area, and the CHiPs Project, which involves volunteer horse riders patrolling areas to help deter rural crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as other issues. Both of these schemes have received funding from the Community Safety Partnership, which includes police, fire and council authorities.
Gemma Richardson, Head of Care and Supported Housing in Hertfordshire for Hightown housing association (which runs SSOS), said: “We were delighted to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner to Open Door. The outreach service, which operates from our night shelter, is predominantly funded by the Open Door Charity, but has also been supported by St Albans Community Safety Partnership this year. This funding has allowed us to bolster our front line services and enabled us to expand our outreach team taking support out onto the street for six days a week.”
Commissioner Lloyd can also be contacted via email:  You can follow the Commissioner on Twitter @HertsPCC and find out more on his Facebook page (Herts PCC).