Community Protection Warnings have been issued as part of a police crackdown on anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Letchworth and Baldock.

According to latest Herts police figures, 376 crimes in Letchworth and Baldock were reported in March, with violence and sexual offences most commonly reported (134), followed by ASB (96) and criminal damage and arson (34).

Police say three areas are a current priority to tackle - ASB, vehicle crime and speeding.

Tackling ASB in open spaces and car parks, police say they are focusing on drug use and criminal damage in Letchworth's Howard Park and Gardens, Norton Common and Garden Square Car Park, as well as graffiti in Clothall Common in Baldock.

They said several individuals have been identified as causing ASB, with Community Protection Warnings issued where appropriate, and meetings have been held with Letchworth BID to identify potential improvements in the reporting of incidents.

Tackling vehicles speeding near schools in Letchworth and Baldock, police say they have been conducting targeted patrols at key times to ensure drivers observe speed limits.

In terms of theft from cars and vans in the area, efforts have been focused on crime prevention advice and increased hi-visibility patrols.

Chief Inspector Jon Roche said: "In North Herts, the local policing priorities are set every six months, with a midway review.

"These are the priorities the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams focus on and are set with help from the community.

"Residents are asked to provide feedback during a week-long campaign, and we also liaise with partners such as North Herts Council. The priorities, therefore, focus on what issues matter most to our communities.

"Crime levels in North Herts are just returning to pre-pandemic levels, so we are seeing a gradual increase month on month.

"Crime stats for any given month will also include any historic reporting, as well as domestic-related incidents that fall into that category, which can lead to seemingly high figures, but not necessarily a true reflection of what is happening on the streets.

"Crime levels also fluctuate depending on the seasons and we traditionally see a rise in ASB reporting during the summer months, when the evenings are longer."