Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner raises issue of police ‘legitimacy’

David Lloyd highlighted the issue at the latest meeting of the county council’s public heath and community safety cabinet panel

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 6:02 am

Police ‘legitimacy’ is now a big issue, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has said.

The murder of Sarah Everard by an off-duty Metropolitan police officer shocked the nation and is believed to have led to some loss of trust in the police more generally.

At the latest meeting of the county council’s public heath and community safety cabinet panel, Mr Lloyd highlighted the issue of police ‘legitimacy’ – as well as the importance of vetting and discipline.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd

He stressed to councillors that Hertfordshire remains one of the safest places to live and work.

And addressing the panel, he said: “I think the big issue that we have all got to help together on at the moment is police legitimacy.

“I think for the next six months we are going to be spending a lot of time reminding people what a brilliant job the police do in Hertfordshire – and what an excellent police force we have in Hertfordshire.“

In going on to highlight the murder of Sarah Everard, Mr Lloyd stressed that there was nothing that she could have done to change it, that she had done ‘exactly the right thing’ – and that that was why it was “so chilling”.

He said this was to policing, as Harold Shipman had been to health – going on to suggest that this was a ‘one-off’.

And he highlighted the role of vetting and discipline within the Hertfordshire Constabulary.

“As PCC one of my roles is to ensure that vetting takes place properly, that discipline takes place properly and that we have a police force which is, as you would expect it to be for the county,” said Mr Lloyd.

“I am pleased to say that I feel that we have got that police force, but we will continue – and the chief will continue – to ensure that we keep on top of it.

“I think we all recognise this was a one-off. This to policing was what Harold Shipman was to health. But we still need to trust our professionals – and we still need to use them.

“And because one professional has done something outrageous, which has chilled – and it really has chilled – the whole population does not mean that every single professional that we have is the same – and clearly is not.”

At the meeting the deputy executive member for public health and community safety Cllr Fiona Thompson – who was chairing the meeting – acknowledged that maintaining public trust in policing was going to be one of the big challenges going forward.

And she said: ” . . . .it is always unfortunate, to coin a phrase, that a few bad apples taint the whole barrel.”

The meeting of the county council’s public health and community safety cabinet panel was held on November 12. It can be viewed at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/watchmeetings.