The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, showed off his linguistic savoir faire when he answered tough questions about his role in French from pupils at The Hemel Hempstead School.
The commissioner – a self-confessed Francophile who studied the Gallic language at Birmingham University – was cross-examined by five pupils who are preparing for an A-level French oral exam.
Commissioner Lloyd spoke about his role before the Year 13 students, who have been studying law and order as part of their French studies, fired questions at him.
They quizzed him about policing and crime in Hertfordshire as well as his views on criminal justice, prisons and capital punishment.
Mr Lloyd said: “This was a fun and novel way of engaging a group of young people in policing and community safety issues – something I am keen to do at every opportunity. They certainly knew their onions and I wish them ‘bon courage’ with their exams.”
Language teacher Gill Chambers said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for students to use their A-Level language skills in context, and to develop their understanding of the wider world.”
Student Olivia Wright, aged 18, said: “Having studied crime and the French system of justice and punishment with our teachers, it was beneficial to talk to someone actually involved with the justice system, albeit the British one and in French as well! I will definitely use some of his ideas in my French exam – fantastique!”
The visit was part of the commissioner’s latest ‘district day’ – a regular event where he focuses on the crime and community safety-related issues affecting one of the county’s 10 districts and boroughs.
This district day focused on Dacorum and, for his first appointment, he visited Hemel Hempstead Police Station to meet the borough’s new top police officer, Ch Insp Doug Black. He also sat in on the Force’s Daily Management Meeting where significant crimes of the previous 24 hours are discussed and the operational response for the next 24 hours is decided upon.
Following the visit to The Hemel Hempstead School, Mr Lloyd travelled to Tring to accompany the Safer Neighbourhood Team on a speed check operation in the town. He then returned to Hemel Police Station for a briefing on anti-social behaviour in the town from Sgt Matt Deveney.
Mr Lloyd said: “There was a light-hearted side to this particular district day but there was a serious side too, with several useful updates on the current policing issues in the borough. I was delighted to meet Ch Insp Black and I wish him well in his new role.
“As ever, the district day gave me another valuable insight into the borough, what concerns there are and what the priorities are locally.”