Stevenage welcomes new police chief to community

Tannis Perks

Tannis Perks - Credit: Archant

Stevenage’s newly appointed police chief says she is keen to get out and meet people as making links with the community will be her best weapon in fighting crime.

Tannis Perks – who takes over from the retiring Richard Harbon as Chief Inspector at Stevenage Police Station – is no stranger to the town, having served here as a Detective Constable and on special assignments in recent years.

But now she has arrived on patch as Chief Insp fresh from 18 months in the same role at Hertsmere.

Speaking to the Comet last week, she said one of her first priorities will be to get out and about in the town and strike up links with organisations that can help partner with the police.

She said: “You can’t carry out policing alone so I will be working on developing links with partners including Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.

He said: “The public are also going to be a key part of us knowing what’s going on and with the help and support of other teams we will look to get underneath the issues.

“People who live and work in Stevenage are generally very supportive of the police and it’s the absolute minority who don’t hold that view.

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“My pledge to those who want to live in a crime free environment is that I will ensure my team are very clear what their priorities are – to keep people safe, to reduce crime and to catch criminals.

“There will be some challenges along the way and at times, some tragedy, but I have a fantastic team of police officers and staff, each of whom plays an equally important role in policing the borough.”

Ms Perks said drug crime will be a key priority: “There are violent crimes here that appear to have a link to drugs and one of my priorities will be to understand how communities are feeling in terms of the impact of drugs and substance misuse happening on their doorsteps, and the links to individuals who are coming into the area from elsewhere and are involved in drug crime.”

Ms Perks said she had an ‘extremely experienced’ safer neighbourhoods team in Stevenage which will help her target hot spots for anti-social behaviour.”

Ms Perks started her career as a Special Constable in 1988 before joining as a regular in 1990 and climbing up the ranks to become a Chief Inspector. She spent her early years in North Herts as a uniformed PC and then trained to be a DC. She has worked in a variety of detective roles including serious and organised crime, tackling organised gangs, and in the Child Protection Unit. She has been involved in high profile cases including the conviction of ‘the Rolex robbers’ in Hoddesdon in 2002, after two men killed the wife of a millionaire and attempted to murder her son and his girlfriend.