Commissioner's 'District Day' focuses on North Herts
The Police and Crime Commissioner visited police and community groups in North Herts today (Wednesday 11 December) as part of a day spent focusing on particular issues for the district.

Commissioner David Lloyd held a well-attended question and answer session with residents at Kimpton Memorial Hall, alongside police officers from North Herts.

He then joined officers involved in the delivery of Rural Engagement Day (RED) for a walk around in the area, knocking on doors and speaking to local residents. REDs are a way for the local authorities to provide community, fire safety and crime prevention advice.

Later in the morning, he visited the Letchworth office of Hertfordshire Community Meals which is a not-for-profit social enterprise which provides the meals on wheels service in the county.

The meals service is a partner in Operation Sponge Pudding alongside police, fire and Trading Standards in Hertfordshire. Officers from these organisations accompany HCM staff on their rounds to meet and discuss issues with clients. Very vulnerable clients have regular contact with police through this operation. It has transformed the well-being and safety of many of the service’s clients.

The Commissioner said: “I had the opportunity to go with staff and help deliver meals to the service users. By doing this I was able to get a better understanding of this vital service they provide to them and how highly-valued it is by those who use it.”

Sarah Wren, Chief Executive of Herts Community Meals (HCM), said: “HCM is committed to providing a caring and personalised service to every client, and we are always looking for ways to work with partners to keep our clients healthy, happy, and safe. By working with the police and the fire and rescue services through Operation Sponge Pudding, we can make sure that our clients are safe and happy in their own homes.

“Fire and police officers regularly join our drivers on their rounds, giving home and fire safety advice, reassuring local residents and even fitting free smoke alarms. We are so pleased to have the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner for this extremely important service which benefits our most vulnerable residents.”

This afternoon the Commissioner has gone to North Herts District Council offices in Letchworth with North Herts Chief Inspector Donna Pierce to meet Council Leader Lynda Needham, other senior councillors, council officers and Trevor Basset, Area Commander for Herts Fire & Rescue Service. The group are to discuss community safety issues in the district and matters arising from the day.

And finally, this evening the Commissioner will be attending a Box Cleva awards ceremony at Garden City Academy in Radburn Way. Box Cleva is a programme delivered by the fire service for young people who benefit from exercise in a structured and disciplined environment.

District Days are a series of events where the Commissioner spends a day in each of the county’s 10 districts and boroughs. Each day allows Commissioner Lloyd to focus on one area in detail for one day, exploring on-going work by police and local authorities, as well as business, charity and volunteer groups in the district or borough, to help keep the local community safe.

“Engaging with the community across Hertfordshire has been a priority during my first year in office,” the Commissioner said. “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. It was I was delighted to visit North Herts.”

Cllr Tony Hunter, NHDC's Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Rural Affairs, added: “We are delighted that Commissioner David Lloyd has been able to visit North Herts today to find out more about some of the district's excellent community safety projects that are delivered by the North Herts Community Safety Partnership and to talk to residents about any community safety issues they may have.

“We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with him and his team in the future to help keep North Herts a safe place to live, work and visit.”