Since the launch of my Police and Crime Plan, Everybody’s Business, it’s been a busy time for me and my team promoting the new ideas that have already got off the ground and getting started on some of the innovative schemes and initiatives that will make this county an even safer place.
Two of the schemes, Community DriveSafe and the Community Fund, are drawing attention from hundreds of residents and business keen to get involved. DriveSafe allows local people to tackle speeding problems in their own neighbourhoods and the Community Fund is a pot of £250,000 for projects and initiatives run by local people or groups which directly lead to safer communities in one of the three key areas in my Plan – people getting involved (public focus), making sure offenders pay for the harm they cause (offender pays) or bringing commercial ideas and economics to taxpayer funded services and getting local businesses more involved (business sense).
We’ve already had more than 60 applications for funding from across the county for this first round of grants and if anyone missed the deadline there will be another later in the year.
Local schemes are extremely valuable because they harness local knowledge and need – I want to encourage more, so please do apply for funding if you have a great idea.
But it’s been quiet on the DriveSafe front in Dacorum. To date, no one from the borough has contacted me about it. I’d like to think that everyone who drives through the towns and villages does so in a responsible manner and there’s no need for Community DriveSafe here!
However, I’m sure the reality is that there are some motorists exceeding the speed limits and putting lives in danger, so if you are concerned about speeding in your street or village you can get involved in doing something about it.
If you get ten or more neighbours to sign a petition – you can find it online at www.hertscommissioner.org – and providing the location is safe for speed monitoring, I will ask your police Safer Neighbourhood Team to provide you with the equipment and training to carry out high visibility speed monitoring that has proven such a success in reducing traffic speeds and reassuring local people.
Since my last column, I have hosted my inaugural Hertfordshire Community Safety Board which drew together the political leaders and top experts for community safety across the county, including district and borough councils, the probation service and youth justice services. We are going to focus on topics including domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour.
In the first meeting we focussed on re-offending. Members of the board are now taking away actions to see where we can make real inroads in areas including housing, training and employment, finance and debt, and health issues – all of which influence why an individual will or will not carry on committing crime. It is a fact that a tiny minority of people commit a large proportion of crimes so this is an extremely worthwhile way to reduce crime and make the county even safer.
David Lloyd is Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner. Find out more at www.hertscommissioner.org or call 01992 556600