Commissioner's 'District Day' focuses on Watford
The Police and Crime Commissioner visited police, council and community groups working in Watford on Friday (10th January) as part of a ‘District Day’ spent focusing on particular issues for the area.

The Commissioner, David Lloyd, started the day visiting the police station to discuss issues affecting the town with Chief Inspector Dave Wheatley before going to meet Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill at Watford Borough Council offices.

The Commissioner discussed on-going partnership work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour with the Mayor before attending a Purple Flag presentation. Watford was one of six places to be awarded Purple Flag status last year, which recognises ‘excellence in the management of town and city centres at night’.

The Commissioner said: “I’m pleased that the on-going hard work and commitment from police and partners have been recognised at a national level. A great deal of work has been done to make Watford, particularly the town centre, a safer place for those who want to go out and enjoy the night time economy without fear of becoming a victim of crime.”

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill added: “We're delighted with the progress Watford has made in tackling crime. This is down to the good relationship we have with the police and other partners, and a genuine commitment to making a difference in Watford.”

The Commissioner was then given a briefing about the Scan Net system by Sgt Simon Mason from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team. Scan Net has been used by the main bars and nightclubs in the town to identify and keep records of who is on their premises. It has contributed to a cut in reports of crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

He also went to St Mary’s Church to discuss the town centre chaplaincy, God After Dark (GAD) and Street Angels initiatives, which offer care to the people using the pubs and clubs during the evening and nights. He then also visited leaders at the Central Mosque in Watford to discuss issues affecting the Muslim community.

Lastly, he visited West Herts College to see work by Art & Design students to design a poster and advertising campaign highlighting safety and security issues for young people in and around the town centre. He also spoke to students studying for a new HND Public Services qualification which includes a Certificate in Policing. The Commissioner answered questions from the group about topical issues and key challenges facing policing moving forward.

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,” he 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 Watford.

“I was particularly pleased to learn more about Scan Net. The scheme was paid for by the businesses themselves and has had a direct impact on the level of crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

“Not only does this show how businesses can work with police to reduce crime, which is something I believe we can do more of, but the clubs and bars themselves have benefitted because their venues are now safer places to visit. This shows what can happen when businesses and police come together to fight crime.”