Commissioner delivers annual lecture at University of Hertfordshire
David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, delivered his annual lecture on Monday (June 16), discussing the changing face of crime and how he believes all organisations, both public and private, can and should play a role in preventing it.
The event, which was hosted by the University of Hertfordshire and attended by senior police officers, dignitaries and interested parties from around the county, was his second such formal speech following his inaugural lecture last year.
In the talk, entitled ‘What is crime?’, Commissioner Lloyd considered how crime has changed over the years and decades, how public perception and social attitudes have changed and how the policing needs to change in order to meet the challenges that arise as a result.
Continuing the theme of his Police and Crime Plan, Everybody’s Business, he argued that there should be a broader emphasis on public and private sector organisations to help prevent crime before it happens, rather than an assumption that responsibility for tackling crime solely lies with police.
“Policing is the ‘Accident and Emergency branch of crime reduction’; when something goes very wrong you end up there,” he said. “Clearly you could do your entire healthcare through A&E and all your crime reduction through policing, but it would not be as effective and efficient as preventative measures put in place early on.”
He also referenced the challenges that lay ahead for a police service, given the changing landscape of crime and where this may lead to tensions with public expectations.
“The nature of crime is shifting away from the streets into our homes and online, which demands a different type of police response, yet we still demand a visible police presence on our streets,” he said. “This remains important. I am proud to be able to have saved local neighbourhood policing through efficient and effective use of the budget.
“However, there is still much to do get the balance right, and prioritising can be uncomfortable.  There is some comfort to be had from knowing that there is a police station on the high street, but would we rather keep all the buildings or the police presence?”
The Commissioner’s lecture showed the challenges and complexities involved in answering the question ‘What is crime?’, however he concluded by telling the audience that answering it is Everybody’s Business, adding: “It is everybody’s business so let us all take up those words from Marshall Ganz: If not me, who? If not now, when?”