Knife crime and court delays among topics discussed during PCC's Stevenage visit
- Credit: Office of the PCC for Hertfordshire
Tackling knife crime, helping victims of domestic violence and court case delays were all raised when Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd visited Stevenage on Wednesday.
The PCC started the day at the police station with Chief Inspector Graeme Walsingham where they reviewed and discussed crime issues in the town.
Knife crime, anti-social behaviour and theft from cars were highlighted as particular activities which are being addressed.
Mr Lloyd was shown the Stevenage police ‘Operation Educ8’ project which is running in schools and North Herts College.
It has provided lessons to over 2,000 pupils aged 12 to 14 on the threat from county lines, drugs, gangs, knife crime and domestic abuse.
Over a working lunch Mr Lloyd and deputy commissioner Lewis Cocking visited Stevenage Borough Council to meet executives including leader Cllr Sharon Taylor and chief executive Matthew Partridge.
They discussed how partnership working could make communities safer by evicting tenants from council properties who breach their agreements by criminal behaviour.
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At Stevenage Magistrates Court, Mr Lloyd met with members of the bench and lawyers before sitting in on the afternoon’s proceedings. This gave him the opportunity to discuss what causes delays in the criminal justice system and how the police, Crown Prosecution Service and the courts service can work better together.
Later in the day Mr Lloyd was shown round a women’s refuge home run by Survivors Against Domestic Abuse (SADA). Community safety manager Sarah Pateman told how the house offers a safe space for those escaping domestic abuse with rooms for women and children.
She also runs the ‘No More’ service to provide help for troubled youths aged 11 to 21, which is funded by the Commissioner’s office.
Mr Lloyd said: “These district days are a vital part of my work. They enable me to get out from my office to see what is working, and what is failing, from the point of view of the public, the police and the courts.
“One of the most useful parts of my role is the ability to work and speak to people across the public and private sector to enable a multi-agency approach to individual and community issues.
“It is great to see the success stories from those groups and projects my office has funded and supported here in Stevenage, this enables me to see if they should be rolled out across the rest of the county.
“Today has also highlighted areas where the system can be improved to ensure people are safer and victims get a better service. I have taken this information on board so changes can be put in place.”