Herts Ad Comment: Why St Albans crimewave affects us all

PUBLISHED: 13:45 16 February 2018

STOCK Generic office

STOCK Generic office

Archant

Contrary to what some people may think, part of the Herts Advertiser’s remit is to celebrate the community we serve, and focus on positive news wherever possible.

But we would not be acting as a responsible media of record if we failed to report on the more unsavoury stories which unfortunately blight the district.

We are also asked by the police to highlight crimes which they need our assistance in solving, with the understanding that any publicity will often lead to the convictions of criminals responsible.

However, the ongoing crimewave which has hit St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounding area over the last few months is quite extraordinary in its scale.

This week alone we have been inundated by reports of offences taking place across the district, including a violent assault, a shop robbery, a restaurant burglary, vandalism at a football ground and a city centre assault, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you look back over recent weeks.

Even if you haven’t been directly affected by any of these recent incidents, we believe it is important to highlight them in order to prevent you from becoming a victim in the future.

However, we don’t want to give the impression that we’re living in an unsafe and crime-ridden part of the country, and in comparision to other cities that’s far from the case, but this recent spate of incidents is still alarming.

When we took at look at the increase in reported crimes a few weeks ago, there was an accompanying suggestion from St Albans BID manager Helen Burridge that this was the result of austerity measures, as those people struggling to make ends meet target affluent St Albans for criminal gain.

In an unprecedented bid to reassure the public following criminal incidents in Harpenden, district Ch Insp Shane O’Neill suggested the town was being targeted by offenders drawn by perceived rich pickings.

Whatever the underlying cause of this increase in criminal activity, we all risk paying the price unless action is taken to deal with those responsible.

Starting with this week’s Property guide feature on home security, and continuing over the weeks to come, the Herts Advertiser will be taking an active role in reporting on any criminal activity, and advising what can be done to keep you and your family safe.

We don’t want to scaremonger, merely raise awareness, with the aim of protecting our communities and detering criminals from targeting them. Hopefully this current crimewave is just a blip, and not the shape of things to come, and working together with Herts Police and other agencies we can all do our bit to bring it to an end.

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