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Policing Hertfordshire for everyone - accessible version

2020-21 Issue 10

Eliminating discrimination, offering equal opportunity and fostering good relations in Hertfordshire

The Public Sector Equality Duty

We recognise that it is essential for our policing service to promote equality and good relations. This could range from the service given to a vulnerable victim through to ensuring that the make-up of the Constabulary is representative of the community it serves.

There are nine ‘Protected Characteristics’ or strands of diversity that have been classified within the Equality Act 2010, these are: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership.

The Public sector equality duty (s.149 of the Equality Act 2010) requires public authorities, in carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to achieve the below:

• eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
• advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
• foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

To ensure transparency, and to assist in the performance of this duty, public authorities are required to publish:

• equality objectives, at least every four years
• information to demonstrate their compliance with the public sector equality duty equality objectives, at least every four years
• information to demonstrate their compliance with the public sector equality duty

Hertfordshire Constabulary’s equality duty objectives 2020-2024 

Consistent across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire

• We will achieve a positive shift in our workplace culture where people, no matter their background, feel confident to disclose their protected characteristics.
• We will attract, engage, develop and retain a workforce that is representative of the communities it serves.
• We will understand our communities by developing effective engagement strategies that enable interaction with diverse groups, fostering strong relations that build trust and confidence.
• We will work with our partners to implement strategies to explain, where necessary reduce, and where possible eliminate disparity and enhance public service.
• We will understand the impact of our policies and practices on people with different protected characteristics by conducting equality analysis and take steps to remove or minimise disadvantages.

For more details, please visit Herts Police Diversity.

The General Duty Equality report contains equality data relating to people who share a protected characteristic and who belong to our workforce. The report can be found at Herts Police diversity data.

Foreword from Chief Constable - Charlie Hall Hertfordshire Constabulary Chief Constable, Charlie Hall

Thank you for taking time to read the tenth edition of Policing Hertfordshire for Everyone. This publication provides a snapshot of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s work throughout 2020/21 to support our diverse community, tackle discrimination and offer equal opportunities for all.

There is no doubt that this year was one of the most challenging years in living memory, both for our whole community and for policing too. While the COVID-19 pandemic affected almost every aspect of life and work, the shocking deaths of George Floyd in the USA and Sarah Everard closer to home also put a spotlight on racial discrimination and gender violence. 

It is clear from the outpouring of public feeling following both events that they uncovered deep and perhaps long-standing sentiments held by sections of our community. As a police service that is dedicated to making the county a safe place for all, it is right that we listen and reflect on these concerns. 

In the following pages you will see many of the ways we have worked with and supported our diverse population and staff, including how we are responding to issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. You will also see the continuing work we do to tackle and prevent abuse against women and children, as well as holding abusers to account.

While there remains much more that we must do, I am nevertheless incredibly proud of this work, not least because it took place while the global pandemic presented almost daily challenges for our officers and staff. I hope you find this document gives you reason to feel uplifted, as the world hopefully also emerges from the shadow of pandemic.

Foreword from Police & Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd

I was recently re-elected as your Police and Crime Commissioner with the responsibility of putting community safety, criminal justice and victims at the heart of everything I do. I recognise the past year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, so I am delighted to hear about the tremendous work undertaken by officers and staff, as demonstrated by the stories in this issue. I would like to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work.

While it is right we celebrate the steps that have been taken, we must not be complacent. There is more work to be done to ensure an outstanding police service is delivered to everyone.

I have asked the Chief Constable to develop a plan to listen to, and address the concerns of those communities who may be sceptical of the police. In addition, I will be commissioning a significant research project in collaboration with Hertfordshire’s independent Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel to see if there is evidence that the tactic is being deployed on a disproportionate basis in Hertfordshire.

Legitimacy and fairness are at the heart of modern policing and underpin the ability for the constabulary to police with consent. 

We must ensure that the record numbers of officers joining the constabulary are representative of the communities they seek to engage and serve, and that this diversity is reflected throughout all ranks. 

We have a hate crime strategy which I will ensure is fully implemented so that all law-abiding citizens in Hertfordshire feel supported by the police. Similar measures have also been put in place to tackle modern slavery which can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, nationality, gender or economic background.

I look forward to continuing to work with you over the next year towards the common goal of fairness for all and to eliminate discrimination. No one should believe there is any barrier to engaging with the police based on any of the nine protected characteristics.

ClapForCarers

Officers and staff across the county showed their appreciation for NHS and other key workers by taking part in #ClapForCarers.

Constabulary supports workforce during the pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, we put a management structure in place to coordinate the Constabulary’s response. This included a range of measures to protect our workforce, which were reviewed and updated as more information became available. 

To protect our personnel as much as possible, entry to police buildings was restricted to key workers, and everyone else was required to work from home, if possible. Technology and other equipment were provided.

Within police buildings, social distancing and other safety measures were put in place, and compliance was tightly monitored. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was provided.

Personnel attending crimes and incidents were given clear guidance about safety measures within vehicles, buildings and when out and about.

Managers undertook risk assessments and wellbeing checks with their staff, especially those who were clinically vulnerable, older, or from a minority ethnic background, and individual measures were put in place where needed.

When lateral flow testing became available, a testing centre was set up at police headquarters, open to all in our workforce.

From early February 2021, we worked with NHS colleagues to provide short-notice vaccinations (eg. to use up stocks at the end of the day). We prioritised staff who were more at risk from the virus.
Regular updates were circulated to our whole workforce, including safety and wellbeing advice, PPE and essential safety measures, and the changing restrictions for the public and how they should be policed.

Diversity and inclusion workshops for all managers

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace continues to take centre stage with the launch of a series of mandatory supervisor workshops on topics including: ‘Being an inclusive manager’, ‘Disability awareness’ and ‘Valuing differences’. These events aim to improve the confidence of supervisors in taking personal responsibility for creating a genuinely inclusive environment where staff feel valued, listened to and supported throughout their entire work journey. The workshops run until September 2021, giving leaders a deeper understanding of how to assist staff with reasonable adjustments and encouraging them to hold open and honest conversations about disability.

Football stars join Herts against hate campaign

Watford FC’s Tom Cleverley and Will Troost-Ekong signed up to the Herts against Hate campaign to mark Hate Crime Awareness Week. The pair also contributed to a video asking schoolchildren to report hate crime.

Normally our five hate crime officers would be out and about in schools, colleges and the university during awareness week, but in 2020, we had to do things differently.

“We had to get creative this year,” explained hate crime lead, DCI Pete Frost. “We’ve teamed up with top players from Watford FC, a county expert, our police cadets and local schools to make a video that we hope pupils will remember if they witness or suffer hate crime. We want everyone to know that hate crime is unacceptable, will not be tolerated in Herts and you should report it, not ignore it.”

National statistics show that hate crime rose during the COVID-19 pandemic and locally we have seen this, too, although some of this may be because people are finding it easier to report incidents. 

“Sadly I feel that some have used the pandemic as an excuse to intimidate people with racist taunts causing a great deal of anxiety and distress. We take hate crime seriously and always investigate incidents.”

As well as filming the video, our hate crime officers used the week to raise awareness of different types of hate crime via social media, attended football matches and a workshop for a Mencap group, and joined an online conference “Together Against Hate”.

“Watford FC is proud to support Hate Crime Awareness week,” said Dave Messenger, supporter liaison and disability access officer at the club. “Having launched our ‘We’ campaign in 2019, working with Herts police to encourage inclusivity and tackle social media discrimination directly, everyone at the club remains totally committed to challenging discrimination wherever it appears.”

How to report a hate crime

A hate crime is a crime like any other, but has the added distinction that the victim was targeted because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Victims and witnesses can report incidents to police via the non-emergency number 101, online at herts.police.uk/Report or 999 if a crime is on-going. Victims can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity. If people do not wish to speak to police, hate crime can also be reported online through the True Vision website report-it.org.uk and the report will be forwarded to the relevant force. For more information about hate crime, visit hate crime (opens in a new window

Don't Ignore Hate - Report it

A Hertfordshire resident who repeatedly faced racist abuse during the pandemic, backed Hate Crime Awareness Week in the hope that more people will report hate crime.

The health worker, who originates from South Korea, called police to report that she had been verbally abused and told that “she had caused COVID-19” after she challenged someone about parking in a reserved space.

“It was a hard time for me, we were in lockdown, I’d lost my job and I suffer from depression and anxiety. When this happened, it really hit me hard,” she explained. “I have been targeted on numerous occasions while shopping or taking a walk, with complete strangers saying ‘Stay away from the Chinese lady’, ‘You brought it here’, that kind of thing and it’s left me worried about leaving the house.

“Society shouldn’t be like this, but sadly it is. I can’t change the way I look, but hopefully people’s attitudes can change. I do feel a lot better after getting support from the hate crime officer and I would encourage other people to report incidents to police.”

UK police stand with those appalled by George Floyd’s death

We stand alongside those who are appalled by the way George Floyd died.This message was issued by all police forces and was delivered in Hertfordshire by Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

“We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.

“We are also appalled to see the violence and damage that has happened in so many US cities since then. Our hearts go out to all those affected by these terrible events and hope that peace and order will soon be restored.

“In the UK we have a long established tradition of policing by consent, working in communities to prevent crime and solve problems. Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary. We strive to continuously learn and improve. We will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it.

“Policing is complex and challenging and sometimes we fall short. When we do, we are not afraid to shine a light on injustices or to be held to account.

“The relationship between the police and the public in the UK is strong but there is always more to do. Every day, up and down the country, officers and staff are working to strengthen those relationships and address concerns. Only by working closely with our communities do we build trust and help keep people safe.”

Following the murder of George Floyd, many people across Hertfordshire, along with people across the UK and beyond, wished to demonstrate their feelings by organising and participating in protest events. Many events were held across the county, some by single individuals, while others were larger gatherings. With the backdrop of the pandemic and the associated restrictions, we worked hard with event organisers to ensure as far as possible that participants were able to demonstrate in a peaceful, safe and socially distanced manner. Numerous events were held across the county with minimal incidents. 

Positive Action Mentors support applicants and colleagues

Hertfordshire Constabulary has a number of Positive Action Mentors – members of our workforce who have volunteered to encourage and develop the force’s support for people with protected characteristics.

One of our Positive Action Mentors, Inspector Neil Canning, whose team work across the Watford and Three Rivers districts, is currently supporting a mentee through the recruitment process. Neil said “I am proud to be part of the scheme and working towards a more diverse service. I have spoken to other members of my team, explaining the benefits of the scheme and encouraging them to become mentors too.”

Neil is also keen to promote wellbeing within his own team, believing that getting to know his team members helps him to lead them more effectively. Neil recently supported a team member who was struggling with some aspects of her work. Their conversation revealed that she believed she had dyslexia but had not been formally diagnosed. Neil undertook some research and contacted the BCH Reasonable Adjustment Co-ordinator who was able to carry out a dyslexia assessment with the officer, which confirmed her dyslexia. She has now been provided with additional equipment, including software and screens, improving her wellbeing and performance. Neil has since shared this experience with other managers to promote awareness of the process and to ensure staff receive the support they need from the organisation.

Police and Neighbourhood Watch share COVID advice on OWL

As the national lockdown and “Stay At Home” progressed, our Neighbourhood Watch communications system, OWL, proved itself to be an ideal method for sharing important and timely advice with Hertfordshire’s 160,000 Neighbourhood Watch member households.

Working with partners in the NHS, district and county councils and others, our Watch Liaison Team pulled together information to keep residents informed about the national and local coronavirus restrictions, the latest safety advice and also important information such as security advice for closed business premises, online shopping advice and how to dispose of waste while the local recycling centres were closed. As new types of scams emerged, particularly those around parcel deliveries, we alerted our members, shared crime prevention advice, and asked them to look out for their vulnerable neighbours.

To support our NHS partners, we shared COVID safety videos made by medical professionals in a variety of languages, including Gujarati, Urdu/Hindi, Italian, Cantonese, Punjabi and Polish.

As the vaccination programme got underway, we joined with Communities 1st to promote opportunities for volunteering at vaccination centres, which drew a great response. We also shared information about the vaccines and the local vaccination programme.

To receive alerts and advice from your local policing team, please join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch. Visit OWL (opens in a new window) to register.

Christmas dinner for frontline NHS staff

PC Paddy Phelan, from the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team, teamed up with a Woolmer Green pub to say thanks to frontline NHS staff who have been working hard at the Lister Hospital throughout the pandemic. 

Teaming up with landlady Marian and her husband Nick from the Chequers Inn, they cooked more than a dozen roast dinners which Paddy delivered to staff working in A&E and the children’s ward on Christmas Day.

Paddy said: “NHS workers have been true heroes and I wanted to say a big thank you to all of them. They were very grateful to receive their Christmas dinners and I’m glad we were able to bring some festive cheer to them at such a trying time. They do an outstanding job.”

Discovery events for aspiring officers 

In March, we joined with Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to host our first collective “Discovery Event” week of action. Over three online sessions, approximately 180 candidates were provided with inspiring insights from current officers into what a career in policing has to offer. Candidates were also able to join breakout sessions for the force of their choice and meet the local Positive Action Team. Our recruitment website.

Lives Not Knives

Hertfordshire Constabulary Special Constable Tony Wilcock teamed up with Hertfordshire County Council to create a striking graffiti mural in Hemel Hempstead urging youngsters to think twice before carrying a knife. The artwork fills the subway in Park Lane/St Albans Road. SC Wilcock said:

“The subway was in need of repair and I came up with the concept of using the constabulary’s “Lives Not Knives” campaign after completing a shift where we recovered a bladed weapon. I felt that an anti-knife message would be very poignant and make people think.

Young people log on to live streaming Lives not Knives event

In July, nearly a hundred people logged on to watch Hertfordshire Constabulary’s first live streamed #Livesnotknives event. 

Guest speaker, Darren Awolesi, spoke about how he sustained serious gunshot injuries and the impact this had on his life. He asked young people to think carefully about the choices they make.
Alison Cope spoke about the devastating murder of her son, Josh, appealing to young people and parents to just “do their best” and really think about the consequences of carrying a weapon.

Spoken word artist, Quinton Green, performed “Knife sentence” and another poem, “A letter to my youngers”, written especially for the event. Quinton also spoke about being the victim of a stabbing and how music has changed and shaped his life. He encouraged young people to use their passion and hard work to achieve their goals.

Following the success of the July 2020 event, a second event was held in January 2021.

Sergeant Helen Croughton from the Gangs and Schools team said: “Our online events have been very successful and the feedback has been very positive. It’s one thing for a parent or even a police officer to speak about how dangerous some situations can be, but to hear it from those who have experienced violent crime and suffered from it is compelling.

If you would like to be kept up to date with future events and the work of The Gangs and Schools team, follow them on twitter @HertsCyp.

Flying the flag for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

In May, Hertfordshire Constabulary flew its rainbow flag at Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).

IDAHOBIT, created in 2004, is now celebrated in more than 130 countries every year on 17 May.

Chief Superintendent Matt Nicholls, pictured with Inspector Steve Alison, said: “This year’s theme for IDAHOBIT is ‘Breaking the Silence’. In the past, we’ve celebrated IDAHOBIT by inviting the local LGBT+ community to come in and share their thoughts and views on our efforts to tackle LGBT+ hate crime. Sadly, we can’t do that this year, but I want to reassure you that we are still here and still listening. Remember, being different is not a crime but being victimised because of it is. We are here to support you and you will always be taken seriously.”

Officers support transgender Domestic Abuse victim 

Officers from our Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) supported a transsexual male victim of domestic abuse after he reported that his female ex-partner had harassed him, made threats to kill him and had offered money online for someone to kill him.

The case was complex, with both parties having learning difficulties and needing support. The victim, who suffered with anxiety, was quite nocturnal in lifestyle and preferred communication by email. With his permission, the investigating officer communicated by telephone with his mother, updating her on the investigation, and then followed up with the victim by email. The victim chose not to be referred to support agencies, but maintained support via family and online friends. 

During the course of the investigation, the offender breached her bail conditions. She has been charged with harassment. The investigating officer continues to support the victim in the lead up to the trial. 

Special Sergeant gives Torah reading to celebrate Jewish festival

Special Sergeant Jeremy Kaye from Hertsmere had the honour of giving a reading from the Torah to celebrate the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah.

He performed the reading live from Borehamwood police station and it was streamed from Radlett Reform Synagogue to Jewish community members in Hertsmere and beyond.

S/Sgt Kaye is believed to be first officer in the world outside of Israel to have been given this honour whilst on duty. Simchat Torah means Rejoicing of the Law and comes at the end of Sukkot (Harvest festival).

Letters of thanks

In January, officers from St Albans received this letter of thanks:

I just wanted to send a message to thank you so much for your assistance last week when my girlfriend was extremely distressed following a relapse of a mental health condition. Having been assessed the previous day, we had waited for 24 hours for an ambulance that didn’t arrive to take her to a bed which couldn’t be allocated - her distress had worsened and she was becoming violent.

You both acted with such professionalism and genuine care, and your assistance and intervention completely defused what could have been a much more serious situation. Not only were you able to reach out and calm her down, you also managed to get an ambulance to the property, which the other agencies involved had failed to do in 24 hours.

I think the icing on the cake was that, having assessed the situation and brought things under control, while we waited for the ambulance, you restored order to and tidied the room which she had trashed - such an amazingly kind thing to do and greatly appreciated as I too was exhausted.

In short, I just don’t know how we’d have resolved the situation without your utterly professional, discreet and kind assistance. You are both a total credit to yourselves and your badges, and I am eternally grateful for your help on that day.

In 2019, police received a call from a Mental Health Helpline about a person in crisis who had threatened to kill herself. Officers attended and found her with a noose around her neck, threatening to jump from a height. After speaking with her, she climbed down and was detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act. 

In 2020, the officers received a thank you card with the following words:

In 2019, three kind and thoughtful officers detained me under Section 136. 15 months later, life’s not perfect and I too am in lockdown. However, I better understand and value myself, I have a new companion and I can smile again. Recovery and acceptance is ongoing, but I wanted you to know that despite being angry at the time, I can’t thank you enough for the patience and dignity you treated me with. In these scary and challenging times, keep being every day heroes and know you are appreciated and do make a difference. 
Thank you.

I really would like to write a note of deep thanks, appreciation and commendation for three police officers who very kindly and patiently helped me out in December 2020 when I was going through a mental health crisis… All three officers were brilliant and I am not overstating the matter in stating that I probably owe them my life. Ian skillfully persuaded me to give a month of my life over to the local community crisis mental health team to see if they could turn things around for me in terms of my mental health. I am very pleased to say that after just over a month since the incident I am so glad I took Ian’s advice - which was delivered with such great empathy, honesty, compassion & openness that I could hardly refuse his suggestion to ‘hang on in there’. I am feeling so much better and feel much more able now to face up to life’s trials and tribulations we all have to face from time to time. So please do pass on this message of heartfelt thanks and commendation to officers Ian, Harry and Katy…and many thanks also to all the people working for Hertfordshire police whom Ian, Harry & Katy represented so well in their brilliant assistance in my time of dire need.

Chaplains receive award 

The force’s chaplains were delighted to receive the Citizens in Policing Volunteer Team of the Year Award for 2020.

Chaplains, who are all volunteers, offer independent and confidential support to officers and staff in relation to any matter, be it work related or not. The chaplains are there for people of all faiths or none, they are simply there for all.

Lead Chaplain Louis Spring said: “We were surprised and chuffed to receive this award. My fellow chaplains are constantly evaluating the service we offer, especially with the current restrictions due to the pandemic. We remain resolute in finding innovative approaches to maintain a service fitting for the Constabulary. If we can help in any way, we ask colleagues to please contact us.

Crime Reduction & Community Safety Superintendent Matt Phillips, added: “I’m really proud of how the chaplains care for our staff and advise and guide us on so many matters. Even in the face of the pandemic, the chaplains have been at the end of a phone line or available on video calls for those who have needed them. They are so deserving of the award which recognises their efforts and the valuable time they give to support us.

Chaplain supports trainee officer

Our volunteer chaplains are from different faiths, including some who do not practice a faith. During 2020, a trainee police officer from the Muslim Faith told a Muslim chaplain that he was having difficulty getting time to attend Friday prayers, an important part of practicing his faith. The chaplain approached our Positive Action Team for advice and as a result the trainer adjusted the Friday timetable to enable attendance at prayers. The officer is happy for his experience to be shared to help others to know that their faith needs can be supported.

Supporting applicants with dyslexia 

People with dyslexia who wish to work for Hertfordshire Constabulary may be concerned that the condition will be a barrier to or hinder their progress through the police recruitment process or prevent them from being able to work for the force. This is not the case. Across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH), we now have 26 colleagues who, in addition to their day job, are trained inhouse dyslexia assessors, supporting our workforce and new recruits. All new police officer recruits are offered a dyslexia assessment. Those with dyslexia are given additional support. Between October 2020 (when the initiative began) and March 2021, more than 100 colleagues had dyslexia assessments, many of whom were then provided with reasonable adjustments to support them in their training and workplace. 

One Hertfordshire officer who received adjustments for his dyslexia to support himthrough the trainee Investigator process wrote: “I would like to let you know the added time (30 minutes) made a huge difference in terms of pressure, ensuring I was able to understand and answer all questions. I also used the green colour screen and laptop stand, which made a positive difference to my positioning when reading the questions. I would like to thank you for getting the added resources into place for the exam.” 

Trans Day of Remembrance 2020 

We are dedicated to ensuring the local trans community, along with the wider LGBT+ community, feel safe in Hertfordshire.

Trans Awareness Week in November marked Trans Day of Remembrance, and we teamed up with our local partners to issue a video of support to the county’s trans community.

The video, introduced by Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network, Inspector Steve Alison, features Hate Crime Officer Terasa Holden explaining her role; Anna Perry, from YCH Services for Young People, giving a message of support to the trans community; and two young people, Jo and Kaitlyn, describing their experiences of being trans in Hertfordshire and how they have benefitted from locally provided support.

Inspector Alison said: “I want the trans community to watch this video and feel reassured that we are on their side. Transphobia has no place in society and as the police, we simply will not tolerate it.
“Under normal circumstances, we’d have marked today with a special event face-to-face, but unfortunately that’s not been possible. However, I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind our local trans community that along with our Hate Crime Officers, we also have dedicated LGBT+ Liaison Officers. If you’re the victim of a trans or LGBT+ hate crime, they are there to provide extra help and support and will treat you with the respect you deserve.” 

The video can be viewed on YouTube (opens in a new window).

Trans Day of Visibility 2021

31 March marked Trans Day of Visibility and the National LGBT+ Police Network shared inspiring case studies of trans colleagues across the UK.

Superintendent Clare Smith, our Strategic Lead for LGBT+, said: “Trans Day of Visibility is a really important celebration of the trans community and what they contribute to society.

“It’s so important that colleagues feel comfortable to be themselves at work and we are committed to ensuring that the trans community is welcome within our workforce. We have a dedicated trans toolkit which gives advice to the line managers of those transitioning and we continue to work hard engaging with the local LGBT+ community too.

Diligent detective receives commendation 

In February, DC Andy Metselaar was presented with a commendation in recognition of his determined investigation into a series of robberies targeting taxi drivers in Watford. The offender had ordered taxis from different taxi firms and had then threatened the drivers, several of whom were members of minority ethnic communities, demanding money from them. During two incidents, the offender sprayed a corrosive substance at the victims, causing injuries. 

The commendation recognised Andy’s diligence during the protracted investigation which resulted in the offender being hunted down and later convicted of all offences and imprisoned for 10 years. 

Nine life-saving officers receive Royal Humane Society awards 

During the year, nine Hertfordshire police officers received Royal Humane Society awards, which are given for life saving actions. One recipient had been to investigate a local resident’s welfare after a call was received. When he could not raise anyone, he climbed a fence and entered the house through an open door. Finding an unresponsive man lying on the floor, he called an ambulance. Initially the man was fitting, so the officer cleared his airway, but then the man stopped breathing. The officer immediately started CPR whilst colleagues fetched a defibrillator. Within a minute of starting compressions, the man began to breathe again and the officer placed him in the recovery position to await the ambulance. The man was taken to hospital to recover. Medics stated that the man’s pacemaker had been faulty.

Positive Action Team

Having a police force that truly reflects our communities ensures that our officers, staff and volunteers are approachable and relatable, bringing new ideas and solutions. Our Positive Action Team lead on a range of measures to target and support the recruitment of candidates from underrepresented communities. 

By removing traditional barriers, we can attract skilled and talented candidates from the widest possible pool of people and provide a positive, modern and progressive working environment for our recruits.

Some examples of our positive action initiatives include:

• Regular attendance at local cultural events, enabling regular positive engagement with our communities;
• Targeted recruitment events and familiarisation evenings;
• Additional support during the application process for anyone with a protected characteristic;
• Mentoring programmes for applicants and existing officers;
• Dedicated staff support networks.
• During the year, the team also reached out on social media to people of different faiths and backgrounds.

If a career in policing interests you, the Positive Action Recruitment Team are more than happy to arrange an informal chat to explore what support and advice they can offer. Contact the team via email positive action or visit Herts Police positive action.

Mentoring support for candidates 

Our Positive Action Mentors are a group of experienced police officers and staff who identify as having one or more protected characteristic.

Any applicant with a protected characteristic, including those from an underrepresented community, can opt to have the assistance of a Positive Action Mentor through the initial application process and beyond. Candidates will be paired with a mentor who shares a protected characteristic to support them as often as needed during the process. Mentors arrange regular catch up sessions with their mentee and will offer insight, advice and support at each stage of the application process, and often beyond. Many of our mentors received mentoring support from our team when they applied.

Herts Christian Police Association continues community engagement 

The Herts Christian Police Association made the most of technology during lockdown to reach out to churches across the county and to continue to forge links with fellow Christian groups in the community. 

Herts CPA chair, PC Gary Bentley, said: “Since March I’ve been contacting churches across Herts to introduce myself and the CPA.

“Restrictions prevented me from attending in person, so I sent an introductory video clip to churches instead. I’ve also taken part in online meetings with local clergy and joined online Sunday services.
“I’ve taken part in a bible study group with another church, answering questions about faith, the police and CPA.

“We also promoted the National Day of Prayer for the Emergency Services in June, shared monthly reflections and updates with our members and set up a prayer group for wellbeing during lockdown.”

Gary Bentley, CPA Lead, supports colleague 

Our faith support groups provide a range of faith- based supportive services for our workforce, including support for individuals in times of need. PC Andrew Christian has allowed us to share his personal story of the support he received from Gary Bentley, chair of the Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Christian Police Association:

Five years ago, I was diagnosed with an acute medical condition. Little did I know that in September 2020 this condition would leave me gravely ill in hospital for the next four and a half months. Worse still, due to Covid I would spend the entire time in isolation. The only contact that I had with friends and family was over the phone. Throughout this time Gary called me at least once a week to provide support, a friendly ear and generally to check up on me. 

Frankly, looking back I’m not sure how well I would have coped without Gary’s help, sometimes we would talk about my situation and what the doctors were telling me; sometimes we would just chat about the news or TV shows we had seen. In many ways what we talked about did not matter as much as having someone taking the time and care to ask that simple question “How are you today?”
Gary also provided me with much needed spiritual advice, I am not particularly religious despite being raised as catholic. However, being in such a position can make you look at things in a new light.

I am also aware of the strange power of prayer and the fact that studies have shown that patients who are the subject of prayers have a higher likelihood of recovery and no one is completely sure why this is. In discussing this and other things Gary mentioned that he would like to pray for me and asked if I would allow him to arrange for members of his congregation and the wider community to pray for my recovery. I found this gesture very touching and it gave me genuine support during some of the toughest times. It also provided great comfort for my mother who was understandably extremely concerned about my condition and anything that could take away some of her worries was also helpful to me.

It is hard to encapsulate how much Gary taking that simple time has meant to me and my family. When someone takes time out of their own life to give a hand to someone else with no thought of reward, such a thing is to be cherished for the gift that it is and I do.

Emerald Society

The Hertfordshire Emerald Society was formed in 2017 to bring together all police staff and officers who have a connection to Ireland or have an interest in its culture and history.

In March, three members of the society were interviewed by Martin Logan from Irish in the UK TV. PC Christian Gottmann, PC Joe Devine and Sergeant Noel Walsh spoke to Martin about what it means to be of Irish heritage whilst working for Hertfordshire Constabulary.

After some technical issues with a laptop, the trio reverted to a trusty iPhone and there was plenty of Irish craic to go round. The interview was featured on the Sky community channel. 

Herts Pride 2020

In August, we marked what would have been Herts Pride by joining together with the fire and rescue service to raise the rainbow flag in solidarity with the LGBT+ community.

Inspector Steve Alison and PC Sandra Smith joined emergency services colleagues at the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Hertford.

The event, which was socially distanced, was an opportunity to celebrate the barriers that the LGBT+ community have overcome throughout recent history as well as to talk about how the services can better support the LGBT+ community.

Steve said “Every year we attend Herts Pride and it’s always a fantastic event where we meet the local LGBT+ community face-to-face and gain a better understanding of the issues affecting them. Unfortunately, the pandemic means the event has been cancelled this year but I want the local LGBT+ community to know that we are still here for you.

Closure order brings peace for residents

A closure order was successfully granted for a property in East Herts, thanks to the work of officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood Team. 

The team had received numerous calls about the property, concerning the dealing and use of drugs, excessive noise and disturbances, and vulnerable neighbours being targeted and made to feel unsafe in their own homes. Previous efforts to curb the behaviour had not been successful, so the team worked to gather evidence to support the closure order, which was granted in November, preventing anyone entering the address for three months. Anyone breaching the order could be arrested. Police also requested CCTV to be installed to help prevent any future incidents.

Since the order, there have been no further issues and residents have told us there is a better atmosphere in the block. 

EID Al Fitr

In May, Chief Constable Charlie Hall wrote to our Muslim communities: “As I write this, we’re now in the last few days of Ramadan, with Eid al-Fitr taking place this weekend.

“The very spirit of Eid is centred on the community – coming together to pray, visiting family and friends. I know that the mosques being closed has been problematic for the Muslim community this year. Just as Ramadan hasn’t been without its challenges, the festival of Eid will be equally as difficult. It will mean not being able to celebrate outside your homes or to embrace all your loved ones, whilst we likewise recognise that some will sadly also be grieving.

“Despite all the obvious difficulties though I’m delighted to say that the community, not unexpectedly, has very much risen to the challenge this year and remained at home, observing government advice. I anticipate that Eid will be no different.

“On behalf of the Constabulary, can I take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim residents an Eid Mubarak.”

High Holy Days

Each year, officers from Hertsmere’s Safer Neighbourhood Team work with the Community Security Trust (CST) to provide support and reassurance to the local Jewish community during the High Holy Days, an important time in the Jewish calendar. This year, the pandemic meant that Synagogues had much altered services, with some taking worship online. Hertsmere Safer Neighbourhood Team’s Sgt Matt Cann said “We take pride in assisting the Jewish community of Hertsmere in celebrating the High Holy Days. Although this year most of the worship and celebration took place in people’s homes, we were still visible and available for support”

In December, we wished our Facebook followers a happy Hanukkah…

We send you all light, joy and warmth as you mark this celebration.
Chag urim sameach!

Mencap talk

In October, Hate Crime Officer Andrea Haughton joined Hertsmere Mencap’s weekly coffee morning to speak to adults with disabilities about hate crime. Andrea explained what hate crime is and how to report it if you become a victim. The session went so well that the service users asked her to return more regularly, which she has since done. Paul Moser, Chair of Hertsmere Mencap said: “We really appreciated Andrea’s visit. Sadly, our members with a learning disability experience a higher level of hate crimes compared to others in society. Andrea was able to build up their trust, so they felt comfortable about sharing personal experiences and reassured by the work that Hertfordshire Police are doing to tackle hate crimes.” 

Pagan Police Association’s celebration of Samhain

In the Autumn, Pagans across the UK celebrate Samhain, which traditionally marked the end of harvest when cattle were brought in for slaughter to provide food over winter.

Hertfordshire Police Sergeant Andrew Pardy, chair of the National Police Pagan Association, shared some of the history of Samhain with colleagues. He explained: “Over time, Samhain traditions and the Christian All Saint’s and All Soul’s Days merged to become what we now know as Halloween, a time when we remember the departed. Pagans will remember departed friends and family, and honour their ancestors.

“In addition to being a day of solemn reflection and fond recollection, Samhain also marks the beginning of the new year for many Pagans, making it a very important celebration. 

“At this time, Heathen Pagans also observe the Vetrablót, known as ‘winter nights’, where memories become as important as foresight, recognising our achievements in the year past, and what we hope to achieve in the year ahead.”

As part of his national role, Andy assisted other forces in developing their multi-faith networks, delivered training to government agencies about the misappropriation of pagan symbols by right-wing extremists, and he also provided advice for Pagans across the UK about worshiping within the Covid restrictions.

Islamophobia Awareness Month 

Following Islamophobia Awareness Month, PC Irfan Ishaq, of the Hertfordshire Association of Muslim Police (HAMP), highlighted issues raised by the campaign to help educate our workforce.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the teachings of Islam and how religious hate crime in the form of Islamophobia affects not only victims of targeted prejudice and discrimination, but their communities too.

Irfan said: “Many people do not understand that the Qur’an promotes peace, harmony and tolerance. Words and phrases are taken out of context and used by some to promote Islamophobia, an irrational fear and hatred of Muslims, which can fuel negative views resulting in bias and discrimination. HAMP seeks to promote understanding of the goodness of Islam, what the faith is about, and to enable people to really see what it means to be Muslim.

“HAMP acknowledges that our faith is not alone in suffering this bias and we must continue to send a strong message that hate crime of any type will not be tolerated.”

Welwyn Hatfield police tuck shop supports local charities

The Tuck Shop at Hatfield Police Station raised more than £1,500 during the year, which was donated to several good causes, including £70 to the Lister Hospital Appeal for their “wish list” at the height of the pandemic; £100 to Macmillan Cancer in memory of colleague Sergeant Leah McDermott; £50 to The Thin Blue Paw Foundation - who help to pay vet bills for retired service dogs as they cannot get insurance; and £50 to mental health charity MIND. 

Intelligence Officer Jackie Radford who runs the tuck shop said: “Donating the money makes all the hard work worthwhile, especially being able to help small or local charities, or causes which mean a lot to people who work here.” 

Contacting us

In May we shared a video explaining how to report a crime if you are deaf or hard of hearing. The easiest way to report a crime is via our online webchat. To find out more, watch the YouTube video (opens in a new window).

Police Inspector speaks at University of Hertfordshire LGBT+ event

Inspector Steve Alison, Chair of the Herts Police LGBT+ Network, shared his experiences of striving for equality as part of an event to mark LGBT+ History Month. The event, hosted by the University of Hertfordshire, included a thought-provoking virtual panel discussion titled ‘Engaging the LGBT+ community in public service leadership: experiences from Local Government and the Police’. Among other panel members was Temporary Commander Clinton Blackburn from City of London Police, who co-chairs the National Police LGBT+ Network.

A recording of the event can be viewed on the University of Hertfordshire YouTube channel (opens in a new window).

LGBT+ History Month - Police support available during lockdown

Hertfordshire Constabulary is dedicated to ensuring the county’s LGBT+ community feel safe and have the confidence to report matters to police. During LGBT+ History Month in February, we released a video message of support, reminding the LGBT+ community of the help available during lockdown.

The video features Superintendent Clare Smith, the constabulary’s Strategic Lead for LGBT+, who said: “Usually during LGBT+ History Month we meet with the local community, but of course that hasn’t been possible this year.

“We’re very conscious that lockdown is an isolating experience and likely exacerbating the struggles faced by those in the LGBT+ community. Help is here for you though. If you need non-urgent advice or support, you can ring 101 to ask for one of our specially-trained LGBT+ Liaison Officers to contact you. We’re particularly keen to reach out to those who might be suffering domestic abuse. In 2018, a report by the charity Stonewall found that more than 1 in 10 LGBT+ people had faced domestic abuse within the last year. If you are in immediate danger you should always call 999. If you feel you cannot speak, you can alert us silently by dialling 999 from a mobile phone and then pressing the ‘5’ key twice. 

“If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to police, you can get help from the Independent Domestic Abuse Advocacy service by calling 0300 790 6772, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.”

The video also features information about the constabulary’s LGBT+ Network, a support group that champions equality and inclusiveness for the LGBT+ community, provides assistance to staff and officers on LGBT+ issues, and plays a pivotal role in building relations with the local LGBT+ community.
You can watch the video (opens in a new window).

Autism Awareness Week: Autism Alert cards

It is essential that people with communication difficulties have confidence that they will be understood by police and other services in an emergency situation. During Autism Awareness Week we promoted the Autism Alert Card initiative. 

Autism Alert Cards can be carried by autistic/neurodivergent individuals to help them to communicate their needs to police officers or other officials when they are away from home. The card typically contains their details and advice for the person they are speaking to.

Autism Anglia offers a credit card-sized Autism Alert Card, adopted by Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces. The card enables the individual’s behaviour or the nature of their condition to be quickly explained when they find themselves in a difficult or emergency situation.

For more information, visit Autism Anglia (opens in a new window).

Raising awareness about Autism

Nicola Ponikiewski, our Herts Police Disability & Carers Network autism lead, has continued to work with colleagues to provide autism awareness sessions for student officers, trainee PCSOs and other colleagues. During the sessions, they share information about their lived experience as carers of autistic young people and provide advice about how to support autistic people.

Nicola has also given a talk to Carers in Herts, giving them overview of what we to promote autism awareness among our colleagues. She also talked about the Autism Alert card which autistic people can show to officers if they need help or assistance.

Welwyn Hatfield Unity Of Culture

Noticing that there was no forum in Welwyn Hatfield to bring together local people from diverse backgrounds, local officers worked in collaboration with community leaders and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, to create a new forum: The Unity of Culture. Aiming to break down barriers between different cultures and organisations and to facilitate positive communication and understanding for all, The Unity Of Culture’s first virtual event is due to take place in May 2021.

Herts first force to sign up to Black hair code

Hertfordshire was the first police force in England to sign up to the Halo Code, demonstrating our open attitude towards Afro-hairstyles.

The Halo Code – a guide for work and education establishments, aims to prevent discrimination around hairstyles or texture – explicitly protects people with hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic and cultural identities.

Strategic Race Lead, Superintendent Nev Hanks, said: “Afro-textured hair is an important aspect of cultural identity, and should not be a barrier to you being your true self when working with us.

“Hopefully adopting the Halo Code is a positive step forward by the constabulary, demonstrating that there is no reason why people can’t have traditional Black hairstyles in the police.”

A copy of the Halo Code will be displayed across our buildings.

Human trafficking and modern slavery

In November 2020, Operation Tropic, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s specialist Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery team, prepared a Multi-agency taskforce in response to information received about female refugees from various countries who were victims of Domestic Abuse.

The women had been referred by various organisations to a self-styled “refuge” offering assistance and safe haven to these most vulnerable people only.

It was believed that the women were being physically and mentally abused as well as being exploited as domestic servants by the man responsible for the “refuge”

Enquiries revealed that the “refuge” had no charitable status and was not subject to any audit or governance.

Op Tropic applied for a search warrant and prepared a multi-agency operation including Police, Local Government departments, Safeguarding Nurses, and Fire and Rescue.

On the day, the warrant was served and a man was arrested on suspicion of Modern Slavery offences. Specialist officers spoke with the female refugees and the “refuge” was declared unfit as a house of multi occupancy. 

All five vulnerable women were safeguarded by Op Tropic utilising local housing and The Salvation Army. Three of the women were Pakistani, two of whom only spoke Urdu, one was Mauritian and the other was of African origin.

Four of the refugees declared themselves as potential victims of Modern Slavery and are assisting the police enquiry. Steps have been taken to ensure that vulnerable people are not referred to the location in future. The investigation is ongoing. 

Fraud Victim Hub wins national award

In December, The Herts Beacon Fraud Victim Hub was announced as the winner of the Outstanding Customer Service Initiative section of the national Tackling Economic Crime Awards (TECA).

The hub, the only one of its kind in the country, was set up in April 2019 to work with victims of fraud, offering support and advice. It has contacted almost 8,000 victims of fraud, who previously would have had no support, even when losing their life savings or being repeat victims. Over the last year the hub’s staff have helped victims recover more than £300,000 in refunds using the Banking Code.

Detective Chief Inspector for the Victim Support team, Luke Whinnett, said: “Beacon has worked incredibly hard to ensure the Victim Fraud Hub has achieved the success it has. This crime type targets the most vulnerable and this initiative ensures they can receive the excellent support mechanisms the team have developed. This award is very well deserved by each and every member of the team.”

Festive donations to food bank and women’s refuge

Festive spirit was in the air when Sergeant Emma Francis andthe Welwyn Garden City Safer Neighbourhood Team donated an array of items to a local food bank and women’s refuge. 

Knowing that Christmas 2020 would be looking different for many people, Emma decided to start a collection. Local businesses Marks and Spencer and Future Gifts chipped in, donating children’s toys, and colleagues in our Force Control Room also donated gifts. 

Black History Month 

Understanding Black history and celebrating achievements was the theme in October 2020, as we joined organisations across the UK to celebrate Black History Month. Over recent years, the Hertfordshire Black and Asian Police Association, supported by the Constabulary, has worked hard to ensure that we celebrate the month in a range of ways, aiming to build and develop positive relationships between our local communities and the police. 

“October not only gives us an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities across the county, it also enables me to re-state the force’s determination to tackle racism and hate crime,” explained Chief Constable Charlie Hall.

“It is also a time when we should reflect on the history of our diverse communities, their key and defining moments, and the different journeys individuals have been on.

“Understanding the past helps us to shape and define a more just and equitable future.

“Given the backdrop of 2020 with Black Lives Matters protests and the apparent discriminating impact of COVID-19, there has never been a more important time to support and listen to our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, in a drive to improve the service we deliver to keep people safe.

“Across October, my teams of officers and staff were involved with various engagement events, celebrations and operations, which I hope were well received in the community. Of course, we had to comply with social distancing rules but that doesn’t mean we should stop engaging with communities, we just had to be more creative!”

As well as the celebration events, the force focused on four key themes: education, community engagement, recruitment and progression. The Constabulary already provides dedicated mentors for Black, Asian and minority ethnic recruits, but is ambitious to do more.

“Our network of volunteers from diverse backgrounds continue to be valued ‘critical friends’ and help us to respond more effectively to the complexities of modern-day policing,” continued Chief Constable Hall. “In Hertfordshire we want to be the best that we can be for everyone, and if that requires changing how we approach things, then that is what we will do.

“My thanks to all the communities who support and advise us every day of the year on a vast array of cultural and religious issues. You help us see the world in a myriad of different perspectives and better understand the needs of local residents.

Working with West Herts College

During Black History Month, officers were interviewed by West Herts College’s “Real Talk” host, Saskia Clarke, for a ‘Real Talk Special: Black History Month’ video, which can be seen on YouTube (opens in a new window).

Articles in the local press told readers about our celebration of Black History Month, and also featured contributions from local Black, Asian and minority ethnic police officers.

Two colleagues share their stories

Police Community Support Officer Latoyah Henry 

I am 35 years old and have been a PCSO for 18 months now. I work from St Albans Police station. 
I am a mother of three beautiful daughters and as a black woman raising three young women, they are the main reason why I chose a career in the police force. I wanted to show them that they can do and be anything that they want to be, regardless of any negativity that may be associated with it by other people.

I feel very proud when I put on my uniform and enjoy my job as a PCSO. The role is community based, so you have the time to sit and talk with the members of your community one on one, and get to know them personally. When you’re out and about and they recognise you and stop you to say ‘Hi’ or ‘Thank you’ it’s such a rewarding feeling. 

Out of all the different tasks this role entails, the one I enjoy most is engaging with the public - helping them with their issues and concerns, and helping them find a resolution. 

I would recommend anybody to join the police force if they truly wanted to, and encourage them to ignore the negative comments that we so often see and hear. 

Police Constable Dean Blake 

I originally joined Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2015 as a Special Constable and spent more than two and a half years volunteering during my free time working in Watford. I still remember my first shift like it was yesterday. I really enjoyed the role and was able to take the skills and experiences I gained through being a Special and apply them to my day job, which at the time was a deputy manager in a building and supplies company. 

I have also found that coming from a Caribbean background has helped bridge social gaps between the police and some communities. 

In 2017 I decided to become a ‘regular’ police officer and I completed my training in 2018. I am now based with the Intervention Team at Cheshunt Police Station, where I respond to 999 calls around the area. Whilst in this role I have put myself forward for a multitude of courses, allowing me to further expand my skills base. 

One of these courses was to become a Positive Action Mentor, which allows me to mentor new prospective recruits through their journeys to become police officers - from the application stage, right through to seeing them don the uniform and start frontline policing. 

Positive Action is a very rewarding role, helping anyone whatever their background. 

To anyone wanting to join Hertfordshire Constabulary I would highly recommend it. You receive the best support in your journey, which helps you get where you are aiming to go. 

Black History Month - ‘Bringing it Home’

A thought provoking, entertaining and emotional celebration took place as we marked Black History Month (BHM) with a special event at police headquarters. ‘Bringing it Home’ was the theme, focussing internally, within the force, on education, information and how to grow and maintain a positive culture around race and inclusion.

Around 70 colleagues, some in person and others via a live stream, were treated to live steel pan music and singing, before guest speakers took them on a journey that included happy reflections of a black childhood and a harrowing story of being forced to leave your country and arriving in Britain as a refugee.

Members of the Hertfordshire Black and Asian Police Association (HBAPA) read black poetry, and a question and answer session, involving Chief Constable Charlie Hall, considered the way ahead.

SNT educational lunches

More than 145 officers and staff were treated to a taste of the Caribbean when they attended one of the Black History Month ‘Educational Lunches’, that took place in police stations across Hertfordshire throughout October.

The lunches were hosted by members of the Herts Black and Asian Police Association (HBAPA). Over a meal of Caribbean Curry chicken with rice and peas, officers received a thought provoking and challenging presentation and then discussed some of the issues it raised. HBAPA members also guided officers through some of the current challenges and offered advice and encouraged an open and honest discussion about race and inclusion.

At Stevenage, local businessman, Clinton Moulton, brought a taster buffet of classic Jamaican cuisine to the police station. During the visit, Clinton and his friend Jadine talked to officers and staff about their lives. Clinton’s parents came to the UK in the 1950s and were part of the Windrush generation. Cinton’s café in Stevenage, “Ritty’s Place”, is named after his mother. 

Black and Asian Policing in Hertfordshire Booklet 

During Black History Month a new booklet, entitled “Black and Asian Policing in Hertfordshire” was launched. With forewords by the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the HABPA chair. 

The booklet includes stories about some past and present significant individuals in Black policing, as well as inspiring stories from our current Black and Asian officers and staff. Printed and online copies were shared with colleagues and local communities. 

Black Asian and Minority Ethnic retention and development seminar

video clip from the Herts Constabulary Black Asian and Minority Ethnic retention and development seminarWith a focus on inclusion, equality, confidence and support, a Black, Asian and minority ethnic retention and development seminar in October reached out to officers with less than two years in service.

The first half of the day, opened by Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson, included inputs from Inspector Kash Hussain and Chief Inspector Sam Khanna, sharing their professional journeys, the barriers they overcame, and offering advice and encouragement to the 50 delegates who joined in.
The afternoon sessions explored the tools and information required to help young officers reach their full potential. Speakers covered practical aspects of career development including detective pathways, mentoring and a guide to the promotions process.

Stephen Lawrence Day

22nd April 2020 was National Stephen Lawrence Day, which we proudly supported. Unfortunately, owing to the Covid pandemic, our event to mark the day and showcase the talents of some of Hertfordshire’s young people had to be cancelled, but we encouraged our workforce and our social media followers to get involved with some of the activities suggested by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. 

Online mental health and wellbeing support services for victims and witnesses

During the year, Hertfordshire’s Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) commissioned online mental health and wellbeing support services for victims or witnesses of domestic and/or sexual abuse (>9 years old) and adult victims of crime, who are witnesses in the criminal justice system. The services were commissioned to support those wishing to access support online, particularly during the pandemic. 

Kooth support service (opens in a new window) is available to support 10-18 year olds, and www.qwell.io is available to support adults. Both provide a safe, secure means of accessing help and support via the internet and support is available for any issue considered large or small by the individual.

Mental Health Awareness Week

In May, we supported the ‘kindness matters’ campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week, at a time when COVID-19 and associated restrictions were affecting many people’s mental wellbeing. During the week, we shared messages on social media letting people know about our work and where to access help and support.

Every day, our officers come into contact with people in mental health crisis. We work with local partners in the health and emergency services to ensure those people receive the most appropriate care. 

The force operates a triage vehicle with mental health services that attends reported incidents of people in mental health crisis. Its role is to ensure those people receive appropriate care. Police officers also receive training about mental health issues so they can help refer people to the correct partner agencies.

Fit, Fed and Read

PC Amy Hunter and PC Kirsty Smith led our contribution to the “Fit, Fed and Read” programme this year, which offers free of charge high quality holiday activity sessions, including literacy support and a nutritious meal. Kirsty and Amy created and delivered ten engagement sessions to children from across Hertfordshire, using innovative methods of engagement to be COVID-19 compliant. As well as a “Spot the Difference” activity, they worked to build the children’s confidence in the police.

Support for mother and child

PCSO Alan Waller helped a distressed woman after she flagged him down in Three Rivers. Her autistic son had become upset in the car, was violent to her and damaged the car. 

Alan was able to calm them both down. He let the child sit in the police car while the mother called her husband. He then followed them home to ensure their safety. Alan later received a card to the station saying: “It was an incredibly upsetting experience, made so much easier by your calm and empathetic approach. We are so lucky you came by that day. My husband and I are extremely grateful to you.”

DAISU supports victim of abuse

Our Domestic Abuse Investigation and Support Unit (DAISU) supported a woman from outside the UK who called police after her husband had chased her around their home and its co-located business premises with a knife, threatening to kill her. Upon police arrival, the woman’s husband was detained and knives were found at the scene. With the aid of an interpreter, investigating officer, Detective Constable Sue Holmes, took a statement from the victim. The husband was interviewed and then bailed with conditions which barred him from attending the victim’s address. Sue explained the bail conditions to the victim, and remained in regular contact with her during the course of the investigation. Some weeks later, the victim called Sue because the man was at her address, breaching his bail conditions. Sue remained calmly on the line with the victim and immediately arranged for police colleagues to attend the address, where the husband was arrested. Having breached his bail conditions, he was charged with the original offence, remanded, and has since stayed away from the victim prior to the trial.

The victim, who described years of controlling behaviour since they were married, said: “The police have handled the case well and the support has been excellent. If I had continued in the relationship I would have continued to be abused, but now I am getting my life back”. 

DC Holmes said: “The victim seems to have genuinely turned her life around, it is one of those jobs that is satisfying to be a part of, having helped end her cycle of abuse.”

If home isn’t safe, we’re here to help. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse in Hertfordshire, call 0300 790 6772 for advice and support from Independent Domestic Violence Advisor services. 

This number operates 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Calls outside of these hours may be diverted to a national helpdesk. In an emergency, always call 999. 

If you are afraid to speak, call 999 from a mobile and press 5, 5.

For more information go to Herts Sunflower (opens in a new window).

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021

In February, we supported Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. As part of the campaign and in response to a rise in reports of sexual assaults involving people who have met online, we reminded everyone - men and women - of the steps they can take to help keep themselves safer.

We would never discourage anyone from using dating apps and websites as they can be a great way to meet new people in the digital age. However, it is important to remain vigilant as these platforms can be used by those who have unscrupulous intentions. We encouraged people to look at the advice (opens in a new window).

2,700 domestic abuse victims helped by new Beacon Safeguarding Hub 

The Beacon Safeguarding Hub, a new multi-agency team, has proactively contacted more than 2,700 domestic abuse victims, with over half accessing further help and support. The hub was launched in May, during lockdown, when victims may have been more exposed to controlling and coercive relationships, and emotional and financial abuse. 

“Without a doubt, this unit has been a lifeline for many victims of domestic abuse who may not have contacted police or other support services,” said DCI Ben Wright who heads up the DAISU. “The uptake of support has surpassed all expectations and around 125 more Hertfordshire domestic abuse victims are now benefitting from a dedicated, needs-assessed service every month.”

These are some examples of support offered to victims: 

A vulnerable victim was unable to seek help due to a controlling and coercive relationship. Following intervention from the hub she and her children were taken to a place of safety. She later disclosed that she had been forced to have sex with different men to conceive her second child. Her husband was arrested and is on police bail while the case is being investigated. 

A male victim of domestic assault had been living in his car after his partner threw him out of their home. The victim’s attempts to be re-housed were unsuccessful. After contacting the hub, he was re-housed the same day. He was very grateful for this. He was also referred to Mankind. 

A female was subject of coercive behaviour and Honour Based Violence from her ex-partner. Due to the religious and cultural background, it was felt that she had brought shame to the family. Steps were taken to protect the victim, her children and family members abroad. Safeguarding measures included referrals to Safer Places and the Independent Stalking Advocacy Service (ISAS), legal advice and assistance, and putting police markers on the family to keep them all safe. 

The hub can be contacted on: 0300 011 55 55 by email Beacon Victim Care.

International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day 2020, we held a series of virtual events for our workforce, aimed not only at a female audience but a male one as well. The events offered the chance to pause and reflect on barriers, some which have become more acute during the pandemic, and also to inform and inspire.

To complement this year’s theme, #ChooseToChallenge, the events highlighted and debated themes such as courage and fearlessness, growing mindset, resilience in the time of COVID, overcoming trauma and victimhood, speaking up and making a difference and wellbeing as a catalyst for growth.

Keeping In Touch Events

Each year we run a number of Keeping In Touch (KIT) events, inviting colleagues who are pregnant or on maternity leave, their partners and supervisors. The sessions aim to give advice on considerations prior to going on maternity leave and for preparing to return to work. During lockdown, sessions were held online. The content remained similar to previous years, with an introduction from a chief officer and inputs on topics including wellbeing, returning to fitness, work-life balance and sources of support.

To further support women on maternity leave, our Workforce Development team created vlogs to share supportive messages and pertinent information.

Man sent to prison for Hatfield Sexual Assault

A man has been sent to prison after sexually assaulting a woman in Hatfield in 2020. 

The woman, aged in her 50s, was on an afternoon walk with her dogs when she noticed a man behind her. He grabbed her, placing his hand across her face, before indecently exposing himself. The victim managed to run away and reported the incident to police. 

As the incident occurred just after the first national lockdown, all initial contact between the victim and the investigating officer was by telephone. The officer ensured the victim had a support network in place, and was able to reassure her that police were doing everything possible to identify the offender, who was later identified and arrested.

The investigating officer said: “During the investigation, we spoke at length about how the crime had impacted her daily life. I was able to relate to the way she was feeling and ensured she understood that if she needed to talk, she could contact me. 

“I made a referral to victim support, which really helped, and she told me they had stayed in contact throughout, keeping her updated with court proceedings. 

“The offender unfortunately had to be bailed after he was arrested the first time, due to insufficient evidence, so I personally explained the decision to the victim and also the conditions put in place to keep her and the local community safe. We soon received fresh evidence and re arrested him, and I completed an 18-hour shift to ensure he was locked up and remanded into custody, where he stayed until the court case. As a team, we felt that this man was a danger to the public so we were willing to do whatever we could to ensure the outcome. 

“I discussed special measures with the victim, including the need for screens in the court room so she could give evidence knowing the offender could not see her. 

“The offender pleaded guilty, but we were ready for trial if it came to it. He was sentenced to two years and six months’ imprisonment and also placed on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period. I have spoken with the victim to ensure she understands the sentence he has been given.”
Detective Sergeant Daniel Webb, from the Welwyn Hatfield Local Crime Unit, said: “This incident understandably caused residents a lot of concern and so I hope this news is reassuring.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the victim. She suffered a frightening ordeal and yet showed huge strength and bravery throughout the case.”

You can report information online or speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat, or call the non-emergency number 101.

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support. The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them. The service is open to everyone – men, women and young people, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email Herts SARC or visit their website.

Purse dipper jailed

In January, a woman was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison and ordered to pay £50 in compensation after she was caught purse dipping in Waltham Cross. The court heard how a woman aged in her 70s was shopping when she felt someone reach into her pocket and try to steal her purse. She called out for police and store staff detained the woman until officers arrived to arrest her.

We advise you to keep your purse at the bottom of your bag so it is more difficult for thieves to locate. Ensure your bag is kept zipped up and carried in front of you, and never leave it unattended while out shopping, this includes putting it in a trolley or by a café table.

Child online safety

We work hard to combat online crimes against young children and we have a dedicated team of specially- trained officers called the Child Online Safeguarding Team (COST). In February, on Safer Internet Day, our COST team asked everyone to help make the online world a safer place too with a plea that if you suspect criminal activity against children online, please act by reporting it to the police online, via our webchat or by calling the non-emergency number 101. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, dial 999. 

If you don’t feel comfortable talking directly to police, there are a number of organisations you can contact instead, including: Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Internet Watch Foundation, The NSPCC, The Children’s Society or Crimestoppers.

If you are a child or young person and you are worried about yours or another person’s online safety, you can speak to Childline or Fearless.

Visit the Herts Constabulary website to find out more about how you and your children can stay safe online (opens in a new window).

Knife Crime workshop

PCSOs Daisy Jenkins and Keith Sayers, visited Oxhey Wood Primary School to run a socially-distanced workshop for Year 6 pupils.

Working in the playground, they explored the topics of knife and gang crime using age-appropriate methods, including role play, a ‘thoughts and feelings’ writing exercise, and a question and answer session. The children were all presented with certificates for taking part.

Fraudsters convicted for series of courier scams

Three men who were part of a fraud ring were jailed for a series of crimes across the country.

The men were involved in courier fraud offences, and had contacted vulnerable people pretending to be police officers. The victims were told their bank account was being used by fraudsters and were asked to withdraw cash to help the investigation. A courier was sent to collect the cash.

The group conned more than £15,000 from victims in the Rickmansworth area and thousands more in other parts of the country.

Detective Inspector Rob Burns, from our Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit said: “Courier fraud has been a significant concern for a number of years. It can be very difficult to catch those responsible as they are adept at convincing their victims to part with money and they are often long gone by the time police are alerted. We ask residents to be aware that police officers will never contact you to ask you to withdraw money, make electronic transfers or purchase goods and vouchers. If you are in any doubt, contact the police on 101 using a different phone.”

University allotment project 

In October, PCSOs from our University Policing Team lent a hand at College Lane campus for the start of the allotment project, a great initiative which introduces students to growing their own food. Events like these are a great opportunity for the team to engage with students, listen to their concerns and provide crime prevention advice.

Full stalking order protects victim from ex-partner

In March, a man was given a full five-year Stalking Protection Order (SPO) to safeguard his ex-partner from his obsessive and controlling behaviour. If he fails to comply with the conditions of the order, he could be sent to prison.

The virtual court heard that he had harassed his ex-girlfriend obsessively on social media and online as well as face-to-face when she ended their two-year relationship. He threatened to take his life and used emotional blackmail. She described feeling suffocated and unable to breathe without him being there after she ended their relationship. He was literally in every corner of her life, trying to contact her by whatever means.

The investigating officer from our Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit said: “Although it is new legislation, it is really powerful in protecting people from irrational, obsessive behaviour. The SPO gives her much more protection than a restraining order, which runs alongside this order. I’m pleased to report that the victim’s life has been transformed. She’s so grateful for the support she has received and it is very satisfying to know we can use these powers. 

 “In addition to arresting and charging perpetrators, we work with a number of specialist agencies to support and protect victims so they can get on with their lives. We worked together to safeguard this victim and we will continue to support her. He has also been given access to other agencies, including mental health services.”

If you know anyone whose behaviour has changed and are concerned about their relationship, call police on 101 or contact Safer Places. 

Support given to anxious child

Royston based PCSO Nat Skinner supported a child recently after being contacted by a local primary school. They asked if Nat could help an eight-year-old girl who was suffering with anxiety and feelings of panic that her family might be arrested. Nat spoke with the child’s father and arranged to meet him and his daughter at a local park near the police station, so the location wouldn’t be too overwhelming for her. Nat said: “We had a little chat and she asked lots of questions which I was able to answer and put her at ease. One big question was if we are going to arrest her family. I reassured her that we would not arrest anyone that is behaving like her mum and dad.

“We then made the leap to visit the police station to see the cars – she was very anxious. However, after seeing the cars, she even had a picture standing next to one! 

“I have since contacted her father who has reassured me she is no longer as anxious and isn’t asking questions about mum or dad being arrested – which is fantastic news!”

Nat also supported the family of a little boy, Isaac, who has severe autism and is very interested in policing. Nat invited Isaac and his mum to visit the police station in a COVID-safe manner, where he was able to see the cars, try on a hat and was given a police themed toy. His mum wrote to say: “A massive thank you! You are all amazing! Isaac had the best time and I think we will be ‘talking’ about it for a long time!” 

Cadets help to tackle COVID-19

St Albans and Harpenden Police Cadets have been working hard to play their part in tackling COVID-19. 

In May, the cadets spent a weekend distributing COVID-19 testing kits to the local community with St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Team and St Albans fire officers.

HeForShe

HeForShe is a solidarity movement, initiated by the United Nations, to advance gender equality. It aims to encourage men and boys to be agents of change and take action against negative stereotypes. Gender inequality is a complex issue and we wanted our male staff to learn more about it, in order to support cultural change. 40 male officers and staff attended a webinar, with speakers providing a different viewpoint on something they may have not have considered in depth before.

Nine male colleagues have since signed up as HeForShe Ambassadors. Their role is to be advocates within our force – educating and supporting colleagues to achieve their potential, recognising that there is a gender imbalance and working with colleagues across the organisation to help bridge that gap.

Witness Care Unit team member receives Local Hero Award

A Criminal Justice Award was given to Witness Care Officer Laraine Roby who was singled out by a CPS Senior Prosecutor for the excellent support and care she gave to a victim of domestic Abuse. Both the victim and witness travelled to Bulgaria during lockdown. They were in fear and distress about giving their evidence and required interpreters. Laraine worked with the prosecutor to ensure that the needs of the witnesses, CPS and court were met. On the day of the trial, Laraine stayed in touch with the witnesses whilst waiting for the technology to be set up, enabling them to give evidence via skype from Bulgaria with the benefit of interpreters. This allowed the court to convict the defendant. The Senior Prosecutor said: “We would not have been able to achieve such a result without Loraine and the Witness Care Unit’s input on this case.”

Frank Mason Memorial Award winner 2020

A police officer in Dacorum was presented with the prestigious Frank Mason Memorial Award in recognition of her dedication to her role.

Detective Constable Paula Mowbray received three separate nominations from her colleagues for the accolade, awarded each year in honour of an off-duty police officer who was fatally wounded in Hemel Hempstead during an armed robbery in 1988. 

Paula joined the constabulary in 2005 and has worked in Dacorum’s Local Crime Unit since 2013. She is adept at handling a number of complex and challenging investigations simultaneously and is known for going “above and beyond”. An example of this is when Paula and a colleague investigated a series of distraction burglaries and one elderly victim’s British Empire Medal had been stolen. They worked with local MP Sir Mike Penning to source a replacement medal, and arranged a surprise presentation for the victim who was overwhelmed by the gesture.

Special Constable supports elderly gentleman 

Our volunteer Special Constables give their time to support policing across Hertfordshire.Whilst on route to another call, Special Constable Dan Cook came across a confused elderly gentleman walking in the middle of a road in Hatfield. Realising the man was in immediate danger, Dan decided to prioritise him and stopped to assist. 

Dan helped the man out of the road and it transpired he’d come from outside of Hertfordshire and had left his car somewhere but couldn’t remember where. Dan was able to identify a relative from his phone who confirmed he was diabetic and had some other medical issues. Dan arranged for an ambulance to attend and check him over. Following some treatment at the roadside, the paramedics were satisfied with his condition and Dan agreed to drive him home, stopping off to get him some food for the evening. Dan arranged for a relative to meet them at the address to keep an immediate eye on him and also spoke with neighbours who agreed to check on him. Dan also liaised with the ambulance service to ensure a GP referral was submitted. The man has now agreed to receive the medical help he had previously declined.

After receiving a lovely message of thanks from the man’s relative, Dan said: “It just shows how a chance encounter can lead to having a really positive impact on someone’s life, especially as a volunteer it makes it all the more valuable to me.

FCR’s Christmas kindness

Force Communication Room (FCR) staff ensured the Christmas spirit was alive and well by providing care packages for elderly victims of a fire at a care home in Hatfield.

Colleagues Jo Abbott and Charlotte Douglas leapt into action to support those who were evacuated from their home to a local hotel in December. 

Jo said: “We came on duty towards the end of the job, but I could not sit and listen to what had happened and not do anything. 

“Following quick authority from managers, and a message to the team’s group chat, we pulled in a few favours from friends outside work. Special mention to Morrison’s in Borehamwood for donating some items.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support of our team, everyone chipped in and this small thing hopefully made a big difference to the elderly folk who had been through such a traumatic event.”

The care packages included food, biscuits, tea/coffee and even mince pies and a Christmas cracker.

OPLO Support helps victims to receive bank refund

Sue Foster, our Older Persons Liaison Officer (OPLO), supports fraud and burglary victims aged over 70. This year Sue has been unable to visit victims’ homes but has kept busy providing support by telephone. One victim had been convinced to visit her bank to withdraw and hand over a large sum of money. When she realised it was a fraud, the traumatised victim contacted the bank who told her she would not be refunded. Sue encouraged her to appeal to the Ombudsman, explaining the process and providing the forms. The Ombudsman later ruled that the bank should refund her. She thanked Sue, saying that getting her money back was a weight lifted and she can finally put the experience behind her.

Womens/Mens Health Months

During November, a campaign was led by the constabulary’s gender working group to help promote men’s health.

Each week focused on a different theme, to raise awareness and signpost colleagues to sources of support. Themes included fitness, diet, mental wellbeing and, to tie in with Movember, cancer advice, which included short videos made by colleagues sharing their personal experiences.

A similar Women’s Health Month campaign in March covered wellbeing, cancers affecting females, post-natal depression and menopause.

Encouraging equality in career development

It’s widely known that females often feel less capable compared to male colleagues when looking at role profiles, which then makes them less likely to apply for a job. To address this, the Sergeant and Inspector promotion processes have moved away from a ‘one-day’ interview assessment. Candidates are now asked to complete a development portfolio over several months. This enables them to consider their evidence, strengths, and development opportunities and prepare for their assessment over a longer period of time, with guidance from senior officers about the expectations of the rank. The process also gives candidates the opportunity to engage in sessions on leadership and personal development to support their progression to the next rank. The new process has attracted an increase in female applicants. 

Furthermore, we used International Women’s Day to open the conversation on perceived barriers to promotion and to cover topics that managers can think about when advertising a role to encourage a wider, more diverse pool of candidates, such as use of language and gender preferences, consideration of minimum entry requirements and being visibly open to exploring options for part-time/work life balance applications. 

Safer Schools Newsletter

During the year, our Herts Police Gangs and Schools team developed a Safer Schools Newsletter which will be circulated termly to all schools in Hertfordshire. The first two editions, which went to all junior and senior schools, included facts about knife crime, personal safety advice, firework safety and information about partnership initiatives, such as Fearless and The Prince’s Trust. The third edition included advice about online gaming, cyber bullying and bicycle security.

Dacorum Mini Police

Mini Police schemes continue to be delivered across the county and the Dacorum Mini Police team won this year’s Citizens In Policing award for contribution to Mini Police. The team have completed more than 20 schemes across the district, and have worked with pupils and teachers to tackle issues in their local community, including speeding, bullying, inconsiderate parking and littering. The team have also put together several bespoke lesson plans, covering issues such as water safety and hate crime. 

Top problem solvers win award

A project to tackle and prevent violent crime among young people across three Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) won this year’s Mick Fogarty Problem Solving Award.

At a socially-distanced ceremony, representatives of Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford CSPs were handed the trophy and certificates in recognition of their collaborated problem-solving work.
The wide-reaching project engaged with a range of agencies and people to understand the local issues, subsequently implementing improved education about violent crime to school pupils across the three areas, and setting up co-ordinated support for those at risk of involvement in violence, improving relationships between police and young people. Better information sharing between all stakeholders also helped to support action against persistent offenders.

The work was a number of years in the planning and was supported by the recruitment of two youth violent crime Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

Letter of appreciation

In August, we received the following letter of thanks:

We have a daughter with mental health issues which present themselves as extremely challenging and violent behaviour... Unfortunately, we have had no option but to call officers to attend several times. Your officers have always acted with the most wonderful care and understanding and carried out their duties with exceptional professionalism and are all a total credit to Hertfordshire Police. 
Since they last came, we are finally getting the right support…We would really appreciate it if our thanks could be passed to your colleagues and to let them know we are exceptionally grateful to them for the times they have attended our house and dealt with the situation. 

Support from residents following rave

In May, police were called to a large and violent rave event in Hertsmere, where no social distancing was being observed by hundreds of young people in attendance. After a long and challenging night, police received the following feedback from the nearest residential development: “We wanted to pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the officers who were brought in from across Hertfordshire in the early hours to protect our homes and ensure the rave ended safely for all involved… our biggest fear was the danger to the kids accessing a somewhat derelict warehouse and unlit construction site…god forbid what would have happened if there were an electrical short and fire, it could so easily have turned into a disaster… Every officer should feel proud of themselves today, knowing their actions protected us and the kids who attended. We are so thankful for you all.”

Operation Encompass 

In Hertfordshire we have implemented Operation Encompass, a national operation designed to encourage and support policing to lawfully share information with schools when a student has witnessed, or has in some way been impacted, by a domestic abuse incident.

Police and other agencies have a duty to ensure that children are safe. By assessing and monitoring their welfare, especially when something goes wrong in their lives, we can prevent further harm.
The operation encourages us to work together to use relevant information to assess risk and determine action to prevent further physical, emotional or mental harm to the young person and ensure that interventions and support are deployed to achieve this.

Man sentenced after breaching a Child Abduction Warning Notice

In August, a 21-year-old man was sentenced to eight months in prison after breaching a Child Abduction Warning Notice (CAWN) and pleading guilty to sexual offences with a 15-year-old girl. The court heard how in 2018, he was served the CAWN after officers became concerned about his association with the victim, then aged 13. The CAWN prohibited him from communicating with the victim, or allowing her to be in his company, before she reached the age of 16.

In May 2020, sexually explicit messages sent by him were found on the victim’s phone, some of which referred to sexual activity that had occurred between them. 

DC Sophie Beach, from our Halo team, said: “He showed complete disregard for the CAWN and continued to sexually exploit the vulnerable victim in order to satisfy his own urges.

“Safeguarding measures have been put in place to support the victim and I hope today’s outcome helps her to move forward with her life.

“The Halo team work tirelessly to protect children and young people from exploitation. If you believe a child or young person you know is being exploited by an adult, please report it to police, or anonymously via the Crimestoppers-uk.org website. You can find out more about child sexual exploitation, and the signs to look out for, on our website.”

Working with schools

PCSOs Daisy Jenkins and Keith Sayers, who work to divert young people away from criminality, had to get creative to replace the face-to-face educational assemblies they had provided pre-COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, they worked with schools to provide online lesson content on a variety of subjects. As well as videos about mental health and wellbeing, Daisy and Keith also created virtual assemblies on topics including drug use, knife crime and how to use social media safely.

Police and partners working to combat courier frauds

A courier fraud involves a victim being called by someone posing as a police officer or other official. They claim they are conducting an investigation and ask the victim to assist by withdrawing cash or buying items which are then collected by a courier.

Police forces across the UK joined with the banking sector to introduce “The Banking Protocol” to help combat courier fraud. Since it began in 2016, the scheme has prevented millions of pounds being lost to fraud across the UK.

In January, an 85-year-old local resident received a phone call from a male posing as a police officer. He convinced her to withdraw £2,000 and told her that if the bank staff asked questions, she should say the money was to pay for roofing work.

The bank staff were immediately suspicious and contacted police. The victim told officers that a courier was due to collect the money from her home that evening. A suspect was intercepted nearby and arrested.

The investigation is ongoing, with the aim of identifying and dismantling the wider criminal group behind this offence.

Contacts and Information

For more information please visit our website Herts Police diversity and equal opportunites. 

You can also write to either FCR enquries or freepost to Chief Constable, Hertfordshire Constabulary, FREEPOST AL8 6BR to request more information.

Those who are deaf or speech impaired can contact us via:

• use our textphone service on 18001 101, in a non-emergency. (In an emergency dial 18000)
• or online through our webchat service.

If you require documents in different languages, braille or larger text size, please email at FCR enquiries.

How to report crimes and incidents

Victims and witnesses can report crimes and incidents to police without fear via the non-emergency number 101, online or via webchat. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers (opens in a new window).

If you do not feel comfortable speaking directly to police about a hate crime, you can report hate crime online (opens in a new window) or visit Herts against hate (opens in a new window)  to find out about third party reporting centres in Hertfordshire.Reports are then forwarded to police to investigate.

At Herts against hate you can translate information (opens in a new window)  into other languages and find an easy read leaflet.

Remember always dial 999 in an emergency or 101 for all non-emergency calls.
Eliminating discrimination, offering equal opportunity and fostering good relations in Hertfordshire.

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