Herts crime commissioner calls for law changes surrounding knife and violent crime
PUBLISHED: 12:04 25 May 2019
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Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has called for changes to law to stop knife and violent crime making its way to the county.
Speaking at Westminster, PCC Lloyd told the Home Affairs Select Committee that police and councils should be notified when other local authorities rehouse vulnerable or potentially violent young people in their areas.
He spoke of how a number of north London authorities are moving people "with a wide range of needs" into private rented or housing association housing in parts of Hertfordshire - without informing the police.
"It would be very helpful if we had those broad convening powers as PCCs," he told the committee.
"Many PCCs - probably every PCC in the country - would be happy to take those convening powers so that we could ensure that we get the right data, the right information and the right support, so that we can do something about it.
"In Hertfordshire a number of north London authorities are moving people out.
"People who have a wide range of needs are being moved either into private rented housing or into housing association housing.
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"We are not hearing beforehand, either as a police force or as a county council in social care, that these people are arriving.
"That means we cannot put the appropriate safeguarding around them before they arrive.
"We really do need to have far better data sharing. There should be a duty to co-operate on that, and I think it should be placed on all local authorities, police and health."
PPC Lloyd's comments come after nearly 600 suspected members of county lines drugs gangs were arrested across the UK in a National Crime Agency operation.
Police forces across the country, led by the National County Lines Coordination Centre, also seized cocaine worth £176,780, £312,649 in cash and 46 weapons.
Seven people were arrested in Hertfordshire as part of the Operation Mantis.
"One of the real issues that we have at the moment is around, as you rightly highlight, the use of drugs," PCC Lloyd added.
"Frankly, the middle classes who, in Hertfordshire, are really concerned about their Fairtrade coffee and what the supply line of that is do not seem to have the same concern around the cocaine that they take."