Open police stations and Welwyn and Hatfield crime issues discussed
Open police stations and crime issues across Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield were discussed with the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner last week.

Mr David Lloyd heard residents’ concerns at a stall outside Welwyn Garden City police station, in Rosanne House, at the junction of Parkway and Bridge Road, in the town centre.

It was set up to remind the community there is an operational police station in the town with facilities for interviews.

Mr Lloyd talking to residents and officers outside Welwyn Garden Police station

Mr Lloyd discussed local policing priorities with Chief Inspector Simon Mason, visited a new hostel for homeless ex-offenders and had a meeting with the District Council leaders.

He also met a SOS St Giles Trust Youth Worker, funded by his office to provide targeted youth support and early intervention to help those at risk of being involved in serious violence.

Mr Lloyd said: “We are here today to remind everyone that as well as the HQ site there are two police stations open for business in the district.

Passer-bys stop for a chat outside WGC police station                      With Chief Inspector Simon Mason at Hatfield Police Station

“Hatfield has a custody suite and a front counter service seven-days a week. There is also a strong neighbourhood policing team in Welwyn Garden City station who are there to react to the concerns of residents and businesses.

“Crimes and concerns can be reported online, and appointments can be made to see an officer there by calling ahead on 101.”

Chief Inspector Mason said: “We have had great success in reducing burglaries, they are down by over 20 per cent in the last year.

“Also there was a spate of thefts of high value 4x4 cars, such as Land Rovers, and while the issue has decreased, we recommend that owners use a Faraday signal blocking bag if they keep their keys near the front door.”

With workers and visitors to the Oxygen Gateway project

Mr Lloyd also heard about efforts to counter anti-social behaviour in King George V Playing Fields and surrounding roads, speeding in Cuffley and shoplifting in the town centres. There is also a continued effort to tackle County Lines drug dealing and associated violence.

At lunchtime Mr Lloyd visited the Druglink Oxygen Gateway Housing Pathway project in Welham Green.

Using funding from the Commissioner’s Criminal Justice and Innovation Fund the charity have set up a two year pilot operation to house 20 ex-offenders a year, to prevent them being homeless.
So far 17 residents from the scheme have progressed through the house and moved to settled accommodation and found employment.

“Schemes like this are about leadership and one of my main roles is reducing crime. Ex-offenders who leave prison with nowhere to live are a third more likely to commit more crime.

“This hostel plays a vital step in putting people back into the community where they belong. With the right support they can become productive and useful members of the public.”