The top cop fighting crime in Dacorum says he is leaving the police unit in a strong position as he departs this week.
Dacorum’s Chief Inspector Mike Pryce has spent five years at the helm and during that time his team has driven down crime.
“Every single year for the last five years crime has reduced and detections have improved,” said Chief Insp Pryce, 47.
“This year has been the best year ever in the history of performance for Dacorum – so it’s a great year to go out.”
He puts the improving figures down to their work with known persistent offenders – around 40 in the borough – one of the highest levels in the force.
They are visited on a regular basis, some wear tags – either voluntarily or as part of a court order – that can rule them out of or put them in the place of a crime and a partnership with rugby club Hemel Stags sees some doing work placements.
Under Chief Insp Pryce an alcohol course was set up in the borough, run in partnership with Druglink, that has now been rolled out nationwide.
It sees people issued with fixed penalty notices for drunk and disorderly behaviour given the chance to reduce their fine by attending a morning course.
A youth restorative justice scheme was also first piloted in the borough before going county-wide.
It often sees young offenders saying sorry to their victims or writing them a letter.
“I’m very proud of the legacy that is being left,” said Chief Insp Pryce, who lives in the borough, and is going on to work as head of crime reduction in the community safety unit at the force’s headquarters.
The officer, who started his career with the Met Police, paid tribute to the family of murdered Billy Dove, from Hemel Hempstead, who have been working closely with police to raise awareness of knife crime.
Chief Insp Pryce said: “One of the things that has impressed me the most is the family of Billy Dove and how they have striven to make Dacorum and wider Herts a safer place.”
Taking over the top police position is Det Chief Insp Glen Channer who currently heads up the protecting vulnerable people unit.
Chief Insp Pryce, who is embarking on his last two years in policing, said: “I care passionately about Dacorum and I just want to see the success continue.
“Glen would absolutely have been my first choice as someone to succeed me.”