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Talk by Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (26 September 2013)


On 26th September PCC David Lloyd gave a talk to the Harpenden Society on his role as the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner. He lives at Flamstead, had a son at St George’s and his office has just moved to the Police Station in Vaughan Road, Harpenden – so he came to us with at least some local connections.

In his talk he set his post in the context of local politics; he expressed his intention to focus on the victims of crime, who often feel lost in the system, rather than on policemen; he stated his intention to ‘bring everyone to the table’ (County, District and Town Councils, the health authorities and the private sector) and to avoid crime being just an issue for the constabulary; and he outlined his two main duties (to prepare a Police and Crime Plan for 2013 and beyond and to hold the Chief Constable to account).

He then spoke on four themes that are addressed in his Police and Crime Plan:

The meeting was reported in the Herts Advertiser, which drew attention to the Town Mayor’s comment that unnecessary and unjustifiable fear of crime was an issue to be addressed in the town. Mr Lloyd commented that this was ‘the most difficult thing I have to try and do’.

ISSUES AND OBSERVATIONS (December  2013)

Police staff changes

On 1 October the office of David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, was moved from County Hall, Hertford, to the top floor of the Police Station in Vaughan Road, Harpenden.

A new Police Community Support Officer has been appointed for Harpenden North and East. He is PCSO 6693 Greg Coulshed.

Meet the Police

In the period under review several  police surgeries have been held. Those unable to get to the surgeries can contact local officers on the non-emergency number 101 or via the Safer Neighbourhood pages of the website www.herts.police.uk.

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s website is comprehensive and easy to use, but there are updating issues. None of the events mentioned above were listed on the website on 29 November – the latest Harpenden event mentioned was 8 November.

Domestic break-ins in Harpenden; Operation Scorpion

Burglaries traditionally increase during autumn, and Hertfordshire Police have stepped up two of their activities. Operation Scorpion aims to catch burglars and criminals committing serious acquisitive crimes and Operation Guardian is providing crime protection advice to residents (via burglary prevention packs, leaflets and local FM radio). Fortunately, burglaries in Harpenden seem to be out of the news at present, though there is no room for complacency (see below). This may reflect police success in apprehending a very active career criminal earlier in the year; or it may reflect the arrests of 16 people across Hertfordshire on 13 November 2013 as part of Operation Scorpion (those arrested were from St Albans, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Stevenage and Letchworth as well as Edgeware , Wembley, East Ham, Chingford and Deptford).

Threats to our wheels (cycles and vehicles)

A small number of vehicles have been broken into across the town by thieves who are mostly looking for sat navs, mobile phones and small change. With scrap metal continuing to fetch high prices there is still an incentive for thieves to take catalytic converters. There was also a recent spate of cycle thefts – from Highfield Oval and Southdown in particular.

Threats to our mobile phones

As ever, mobile phones continue to attract the attention of thieves: two were stolen from  outside St Georges School on 14 September and no doubt many more have disappeared. One curious scam involves the unexpected delivery of a brand new mobile phone in the post; this is followed up by a visit from an alleged courier company employee who wishes to collect the parcel because they claim it was delivered in error. If it happens to you, inform the police.

Don’t be caught by Hertfordshire’s phone scammer (but take care…)

Should you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be a police officer or a bank employee telling you that someone has used your bank cards and has been arrested, do not follow their instructions! They will ask you to call 101 or 999 if you think the call suspicious. If you are unwise and ring on the same phone you’ll find they haven’t hung up and that you’re now talking to an accomplice. You’ll be asked for your PIN (which you never ever give to anyone) and told to cut up your bank card. There were over 100 calls of this type in October 2013.