Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner says new recruits can help keep crime low

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Councillors received the report as part of an update to the panel on the current work of the PCC for Hertfordshire

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire has told how 167 new officers can help make a “step change” in ensuring crime remains low in the county.

David Lloyd told the county’s Community Safety and Waste Management Cabinet Panel yesterday (February 9) “it was an exciting time to be involved in police governance” as he talked about the impact the new officers would have.

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Mr Lloyd said that the £15 per year equivalent increase in the council tax precept for a Band D property agreed last week, would help pay for the recruitment. This would bring the number of officers in Hertfordshire Constabulary to 2,267, the most it has ever had.

Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David LloydHertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd

The precept increase will pay for 77 extra officers, on top of the 90 who will be recruited as part of the government uplift. These 167 new officers increase the ranks to 2,267 in the forthcoming financial year.

Councillors received the report as part of an update to the panel on the current work of the PCC for Hertfordshire.

Addressing the panel, Mr Lloyd said: “My precept setting meeting was held last week and the Police and Crime Panel agreed to an increase of £15 per annum for a band D property.

“The money will be spent on two areas broadly.

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“First of all, to bring forward the increase in police officers. I hope to have 2,267 police officers by this time next year.

“We have been ahead of the curve in terms of bringing those police officers in and the council tax pays for 77 extra. The government pays for 90 extra.

“We always get into some difficulty about how many numbers are there going to be because, of course to get there, we will probably need to have 252 new names because others will leave.

"So to try and get to that point of 2,267 we will need to be as clever as we have been over the previous years.

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“What really the importance and why it’s such an exciting time to be involved in police governance and community safety governance is of course is I think we can now make a step change in terms of ensuring that crime remains low and is even lower.

"And one of the things which, if I am around, I look forward to really pulling out, is this whole new prevention first agenda where we look, rather than to have a swift response to a crime happening, actually for there not to be a crime in the first place.

“I reflect on the great work that fire and rescue has done and I think we have a lot to learn from fire and rescue where it was recognised that rather than having brilliant fire fighters pulling people out of burning buildings, far better that we didn’t have the fires in the first place.

“The same is true of crime. Far better we don’t have the crime in the first place.

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“And there’s a lot to learn across the whole community safety group of people from each other about how that’s worked and I look forward to doing that.

“The majority of those police officers of course will be out on the front line in your neighbourhoods, because that’s what the public have told me overwhelmingly that they want to see more police officers and they want them out on the front line. And that’s what we’re going to do.”