PCC Tackles Fraud, Scams and Fly tipping on Dacorum District Day
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd visited a number of initiatives that are at core of his new Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan on a recent visit to the Dacorum district.

The day’s meetings began with attending Operation Stay Alert in Berkhamsted. Local police shared advice to a group of older residents about protecting themselves from becoming victims of crime from those looking for opportunities to pick-pocket.

Members of staff from Santander also gave guidance on ways to spot those who facilitate scams through phone-calls by way of pretending to be a financial institute or through the delivering of fraudulent mail and emails.

The Commissioner, who has put frauds and scams as a key priority in his plan, said: “I want to take the embarrassment and shame out of being a victim of fraud, so that we can provide support and care for victims and stop repeat victimisation.”

“I also intend to campaign to encourage those who effectively facilitate scams to take their responsibility for preventing them. If numerous or large transactions and withdrawals are being made out of bank accounts, action should be taken by the banks and financial institutions to monitor any suspicious activity.”

Sgt. Adele Hopkin who ran the session, said:  “These are valuable opportunities to help educate our residents to make sure they do all they can to prevent themselves becoming a victim of crime.”

“We’ve seen several incidences of purse-dipping and distraction burglary in Berkhamsted and the residents were given good advice by our officers and colleagues from the local banks.”

The Commissioner also visited a domestic abuse support group – Cherished – which is run by South Hill Centre to provide support locally to women who are or have been victims of domestic violence or find themselves in a similar vulnerable situation.

The group offers women a place to drop into for coffee and cake and an opportunity to sit and speak to others who are going through a similar experience. It has been running for four years and has helped hundreds of women.

Jude Chandler, co-ordinator of the organisation explained: “This group is to provide a safe, welcoming palace for women to fell cherished.  There is so much power in sitting with other women and sharing stories, but it is also about re-educating women that physical violence is not acceptable.”

Another initiative that has received support from the PCC’s office is fly-tipping.  The Commissioner took part at a fly-tipping interagency meeting, which had attendants from the Constabulary, District Borough Council and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Following a number of fly-tipping offences in the district, Mr. Lloyd spoke about trying to identify ways to tackle the issue across the district and the rest of the county.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “Fly-tipping in Hertfordshire is a serious problem and I am determined that we stop this blight. Investigations are on-going and I put it to those that commit these offences that time is running out for them.”

He has also provided a grant of more than £80,000 to help local authorities tackle fly-tipping across the county, which will be used to cover a wide spectrum of initiatives, including the purchase of new cameras for deployment at fly tipping hotspots across the county.

Inspector George Holland at Hemel Hampstead said: “Fly-tipping has a very negative impact on the environment within Dacorum. We are fortunate to have some of the most picturesque rural locations in the East of England, which are marred by the illegal activities of a few.”

“Officers from my Safer Neighbourhood Team will work with our partners from the council to bring such offenders to justice and to ensure they face the full weight of the law for their unacceptable and illegal activities.”

The Commissioner holds a monthly District Day, meeting police and community organisations which support victims and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire. Each month he attends a different district