David Lloyd, the Police and Crime Commissioner, visited Watford to hear from local people about the new police station, issues with street crime and the arrival of extra officers in Watford.
David Lloyd started the day on October 19 at the police station with Chief Inspector Diane Whiteside where they reviewed and discussed crime issues across the borough.
Residential burglaries remain low with an average of two a week, and robbery and possession of weapons offences have decreased following police operations.
Following a similar trend across the county, the theft of high value cars and items taken from vehicles has seen an increase in Watford, along with reports of anti-social behaviour.
With its vibrant night time economy, attracting visitors from outside the borough, street crime and violence were highlighted as particular activities which are being addressed.
Mr Lloyd said: “I came here to see what crime issues are causing concerns among the public, the police and local partners, and to take a proper look at what can be done to make people safer.
“Hertfordshire now has its largest ever police force following my decision to fund it by increasing the council tax precept, alongside the government’s uplift programme.
“Today I have heard from the Chief Inspector that these additional officers are now out there on the streets of Watford, and more are on the way.
“As people will know, unfortunately most crime actually occurs in people’s homes – especially cybercrime but also many offences involving serious violence and so we have to employ officers to prevent crime happening there too – in Hertfordshire we ensure that officers are deployed in the right areas where there is the threat of highest harm crime types occurring.”
Mr Lloyd and Deputy Commissioner Lewis Cocking went on a patrol to visit various crime hotspots in the town, and were pleased to see that the relocated police station at 3 George Street will be even better placed for patrolling the town centre.
On a visit to West Herts Amateur Boxing Club, on St Albans Road, Mr Lloyd met with founder Saud Hafiz who successfully applied for funding from the Commissioner’s office. The club were given support to run their Gloves Up, Knives Down project which encourages young people to engage in constructive pursuits to divert them away from gang cultures. An excellent example of his “prevention first” philosophy.
They then met with representatives of Watford Borough Council including Mayor Peter Taylor, Deputy Mayor Aga Dychton and Managing Director Donna Nolan to discuss how partnership working would make communities safer including co-sharing locations licensing of late night venues.
David then participated in a Community Safety Partnership training session developed with the police to enable council workers, such as traffic enforcement officers and CCTV camera operators to assist in helping to find vulnerable missing people.
Mr Lloyd added: “These district days give me a real insight into understanding the everyday problems and issues facing the people of Hertfordshire. It is important that I get to see what is working, and what is failing, from the point of view of the public, partners and the police officers on the ground.
“Today I have seen evidence of our prevention work to turn youngsters away from crime and how vital partnership working is to make Watford safer for everyone.”