A teen who saw first-hand what it’s like to be Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner during the summer has written about his experiences.
Charlie Ford, of Hemel Hempstead, was 16 at the time of his placement during the school holidays, when he worked alongside Dacorum’s own David Lloyd for a week.
Here, he shares his observations on the barely two-year old crime czar role...
“Having spent a week of work experience with David Lloyd, I thought I would write about what he actually does as my first impression of the role of police and crime commissioner it is an often misunderstood job.
“This is not without good reason since the role, having only been created in 2012, is still evolving and changing in its responsibilities.
“The generally held but misinformed view is that a PCC is a job similar to that of chief constable with direct control over the police force of the area.
“This is not strictly true as the PCC can do nothing to change the operational police work but instead sets out an overarching strategic direction for the police force, whether this be by focusing more on a certain type of crime or improving community contact.
“But the other side of the role, and by far the most important part in David’s office is the “and crime” part of Police and Crime commissioner. This doesn’t mean that he commissions crime but rather that he plays an active role in crime reduction, prevention before a cure.
“To this effect on my first day of work experience David held a meeting with local community leaders to discuss their concerns about any problems in the area and the implementation of new crime reduction methods and victim care schemes.
“Another meeting took place on the same day was with Neil Moloney CEO of BeNCH, which is the company taking over supervision of lower risk offenders from Hertfordshire Probation Trust under the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme. David discussed with Neil the split of parole boards and how this could help prevent reoffending.
“This focus on crime reduction was again shown as we went to visit the three rivers district to see what measures had been effectively used to help reduce crime in the area, such as the workshops run out of the skatepark in order to give teenagers something to do thus preventing crime resulting from boredom.
“The role of the PCC is also one which focuses on community input in order to make the police’s job a little easier.
“As has been said in the current Police and Crime Plan, policing is Everybody’s Business and so by talking to the community, a PCC can find out what problems are affecting certain areas and what they would like to see happen.
“Finally, the role of a PCC extends far beyond that of simply policing and reducing crime, it is intrinsically linked with all of the communities within the Commissioner’s county as a PCC is more than just a politician they are leaders in their communities and as such have a responsibility to the community.
“One example from my week was when we went to help out with a Drive Safe campaign run by volunteers in Three Rivers district.
“A PCC should listen to and help the community outside criminal matters as well as within the confines of the police force and so can work in conjunction with other public services in order to deliver the best aid possible.
“In summary, a PCC is someone who both sets out strategic aims for the police force to follow and who takes an active role in local communities in order to help reduce crime.”