Commissioner agrees funding for fire-proof letter boxes
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, has agreed to fund more than £9,000-worth of fireproof letterboxes for vulnerable victims of crime.

The letterboxes can be fitted to victims’ homes, particularly those who have suffered domestic abuse and are at risk of arson attack by their former partners. The £9,350 grant from the Prisoner Earnings Fund (PEF) will pay for 180 new boxes to be installed by Herts County Council’s Community Protection Directorate.

Under the Prisoner Earnings Act (1996), a proportion of prisoners’ weekly earnings is deducted to pay into the PEF. This raises more than £1million per year nationally to pay for practical support for victims of crime. Police and Crime Commissioners took responsibility for spending the money locally in February, and £19,960 was allocated for spending in Hertfordshire in 2015/16.

Many of the fireproof letterboxes are fitted following a referral to the directorate by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Harm Reduction Unit. Some 311 boxes were fitted between April 2014 and the end of March this year.

The Commissioner said: “I am delighted to be able to release this money for these important crime prevention measures which will help protect some of the most ‘at risk’ victims of crime in Hertfordshire. The letterboxes will not only provide a practical step protecting them from becoming a further victim of crime, but will also provide a level of reassurance that will help them recover from their ordeal.

“Offenders paying back to society for the harm they have done is a key part of my vision for policing and the wider criminal justice system. The Prisoners’ Earnings Fund is a perfect example of this and shows how those who have committed the crime are contributing to protecting victims of crime.”