Concern over Herts police and crime commissioner’s plan to review station closures

Kerry Pollard

Kerry Pollard

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It’s “too late” to assess the impact of police station closures because only three out of 21 police stations across Herts remain open on a daily basis.

That is the view of Kerry Pollard who ran as the Labour candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections this year.

It comes after policing boss David Lloyd launched his plan for the next five years. And as part of his Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, Mr Lloyd wants to review the impact of the front enquiry office closures.

“It’s a bit late,” said Mr Pollard, former MP for St Albans. “They shouldn’t have been closed without public consultation in the first place. St Albans for example – a major conurbation – has no police station.”

Both Tring and Berkhamsted police stations closed their counter service in 2011, and Hemel Hempstead did the same in 2013. Only Watford, Stevenage and Hatfield police station are open daily.

Mr Pollard said he is very concerned about the increase in crime associated with mental health.

“It places an intolerable burden on our hard pressed police officers who are not trained for this role to the degree they are now having to cope with,” he said.

“This points very clearly to failures elsewhere in the social care system – our police staff must not be expected to pick up the pieces of this lack of care and support.”

Mr Pollard added: “I welcome the emphasis on working collaboratively with neighbouring police services. I shall be watching carefully how all this unfolds.”