Commissioner meets Rural Community in Hertsmere
Fly tipping, anti-social behaviour and anti-social riding were some of the topics discussed by farmers, landowners and rural business owners and the police at the latest barn meeting in Shenley .
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd and representatives from Hertfordshire Constabulary spoke to attendees about the work that is ongoing to resolve rural crime across Hertsmere. 
David Lloyd said: “Barn meets are a good opportunity for me to speak to rural communities and find out what is going on at a local level. 
"As Police and Crime Commissioners, we can take local peoples’ concerns and turn them into positive actions. We are seeing this for example around the good work we are doing with partners to help reduce fly-tipping and the benefits form the way we are policing local areas. These initiatives are set in my Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, which of course comes from direct engagement with the public.”
Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls said: “There have been prosecutions for fly tipping and associated offences and the seizure of off-road vehicles, but more needs to be done.” 
“We organise these annual meetings so we can find out first-hand the issues facing our rural communities and put plans in place to stop and deter criminals using farm land to dump their rubbish or ride bikes recklessly down footpaths, scaring sheep. 
“We are utilising advances in technology, including using drones to proactively patrol and deter criminals. We are also improving communication between forces and other agencies, so that we are better equipped to deal with the issues facing our rural communities.”
He added: “We recognise that there has been an increase in the number of calls into the force control room and I would like to encourage the public to call 999.  If it is not urgent, please use the online reporting system or webchat or contact officers who work in the community directly.”
The police work closely with Hertsmere Borough Council, the Environment Agency, the UK Border Agency, Trading Standards and HR Revenue and Customs.
Hertsmere Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe said “This was my first barn meet and I was really impressed with the joint working attitude presented by the different partner agencies present. We will continue a multi-agency problem solving approach towards the concerns highlighted during the meeting, including fly tipping, which blights our countryside and irresponsible and dangerous motorcyclists using land without permission. The rural community also expressed their appreciation of the on-going work completed by my rural team.”
The officers spoke about the use of Rural Special Constables (volunteers with full police powers) and regular operations including one that addresses off-road bikers who ride dangerously or illegally.  Offending riders are given Section 59 warnings.  If they are caught again, police have the power to seize their bikes.  He also spoke about a multi-agency operation to help combat the illegal transfer of waste. Officers regularly stop vehicles to check their licences and paperwork to find out what they are doing in the area.
To report information online, visit 
Did you know?  Fly-tippers can receive an unlimited fine and up to five years’ imprisonment.
Did you know? Homeowners can be prosecuted under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if the waste that is collected from their home is disposed of illegally and they have failed in their duty of care.