Safe, satisfied and saving money - residents views of policing in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire residents are ‘safe, satisfied and saving money’ the Police and Crime Commissioner told a scrutiny panel.

Mr David Lloyd made the statement as he presented his Annual Report 2018-19 to the councillors of the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel, which scrutinises the performance of his office.

He was questioned at the meeting, held at Broxbourne Borough Council, in Cheshunt, on Thursday evening (June 13th) about police officer numbers, knife crime, fly tipping, council tax precept and stop-and-search powers.

“At last year’s meeting it was said that I always talk about the positives and less so about the negatives. So I have tried to ensure that the picture I am giving you this year is balanced,” said Mr Lloyd.

“But with regards to policing and crime we are still in a good place. We continue to be a really safe county. It’s remarkable how low the crime rate is given our geographical location. The public have a high regard for Hertfordshire Constabulary with 83.9 per cent of residents thinking the police are doing a good or excellent job, that it the highest score for any Constabulary in the country.

“Last year I increased the Council Tax precept to bring more officers on to the front line and I am delivering on that. Officer numbers are ramping up.

“Our Council Tax policing precept last year was £164 a year. Hertfordshire currently have the fourth lowest policing element in the UK, behind Northumbria, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. We are 32 per cent lower than the highest force and 14 per cent lower than the average of all 42 forces.”

He added: “I have put victims at the heart of everything that we do with our Beacon service. I did not get together with fire in the way in envisioned but we are still working together to have a seamless blue light service as possible.

“The five key achievements have been putting victims first, keeping crime low, protecting local policing, keeping tax low and increasing officer numbers.

“If I had to summarise the public in Hertfordshire are safe, satisfied and saving money.”

The report given to the panel showed Hertfordshire has the third lowest level of crime within its most similar type of counties and is rated 15thnationally when comparing levels of crime per 1000 head of population.

Asked about the number of police officers in Hertfordshire Mr Lloyd replied: “The concern I still hear is that we have had a big cut in police officer numbers in Hertfordshire. When I was first elected in 2012 we had around 2,000 officers and broadly we have always had around those numbers. We have still got the same now as we had then.”

In 2012 the establishment number of officers was 1,984 and for this year it is 2,034 – up 75 officers from last year.

Mr Lloyd was questioned about what was being done to tackle fly tipping across the county, to which he replied it remained a priority while different measures needed to be taken against the individuals and organised crime groups responsible.

The report also covered the findings of the independent volunteer schemes facilitated by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office. These include the Independent Custody visitors who ensure detainees held in police custody are having their rights upheld and also the stop-and-search Scrutiny panel who examine whether police powers are being used appropriately.

Other aspects highlighted by the report was the additional support for the victims of fraud following a successful trial supporting over 900 victims. Four new case workers have been brought in to help those who have lost money in the county after they have reported the loss to Action Fraud.

Collaboration works and shared specialist units with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire has enabled on-going gross savings of £37.3 million since 2012/2013.

The Proceeds of Crime Act has seen Hertfordshire get £2.2million back from criminals to invest in services and support to victims of crime.
The report which will soon be available on the Commissioner’s website at by the end of the month.


Editor’s notes

Hertfordshire has the third lowest level of crime within its most similar type of counties and is rated 15th nationally (of all 43 police forces in England and Wales) when comparing levels of crime per 1000 head of population (Source: HMICFRS Value for Money profiles 2018)

83.9 per cent of residents think the police are doing a good or excellent job, that it the highest score for any of the 43 forces in England and Wales (Source: Crime Survey for England and Wales, April 2019).