Herts Ad Comment: PCC needs to take firm action

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Herts Ad comment... - Credit: Archant

In the wake of a new HMIC report which criticises Herts Police for failing the most vulnerable members of society and needing to improve its effectiveness in keeping residents safe and curtailing crime, we hear first hand of shortcomings in the level of crime preventation that is taking place in London Colney.

The closure of the village police station and the limited foot patrols by officers has undoubtedly contributed to the increased use of the public footpath alongside the River Colne as a site for open dealing in illegal drugs.

With no police enforcement or CCTV cameras to concern themselves, both dealers and users alike have transformed the walk into a no-go area after dark, as it is used for transactions of cannabis and possibly harder drugs, and the consumption of these products in the vicinity.

Residents using the path are too afraid of tackling those responsible, for fear of retribution, and have resigned themselves to turning a blind eye to what is happening.

Only our source, and then with a promise of anonymity, has proved brave enough to speak out about the situation, and demand action from Herts Police.

He has the full backing of St Albans MP Anne Main, who is calling for an increased police presence in the area to deter these offenders.

Unfortunately, with the force already facing criticisms for not sharing best practice for tackling crime anti-social behaviour, and calls for improvements in the way it investigates crime and prevents reoffending, this may just prove to be one of many parts of the county where there simply aren’t going to be the resources to effectively tackle the situation.

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Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd - who also manages to hold down a full-time job as a county councillor on top of his many policing responsibilities - has passed the buck firmly into the hands of the Chief Constable, rather than holding his hands up and taking any share of the blame.

We initially thought he was also a borough councillor, and chairman of Dacorum council’s development control committee, but that turned out to be because he hadn’t updated his LinkedIn profile for three years...

Hilariously, Cllr Lloyd’s solution appears to be adding new objectives to the Chief’s annual appraisal, as if he’s managing a small business instead of a major crime-fighting organisation.

Perhaps the commissioner should concentrate on doing one job well, instead of spreading his time and resources across various positions?

As he says on his LinkedIn profile: “I believe in cutting crime, keeping taxes low and catching more criminals so that Hertfordshire residents continue to enjoy one of the safest places to live and work in the country

“It is the criminal who should be punished not the victim.

“You should be able to go about your lawful business in Hertfordshire without worrying about becoming victims of crime.”

Try telling that to the residents of Riverside and Waterside fed up with drug dealing on their doorstep, or those vulnerable victims highlighted by the HMIC report.

Maybe it’s time he started to deliver on some of these promises instead of blaming others?