Anti-social behaviour, speeding and vehicle crime remain the three neighbourhood priorities for the Harpenden and rural safer neighbourhood team (SNT).
SNTs work alongside local partners, to focus on solving long and short-term neighbourhood issues, such as anti-social behaviour, speeding, criminal damage and drug related crime.
The priorities were agreed at a meeting held at Harpenden town hall on Friday (30 June) with local councillors alongside feedback from the public through ‘echo’.
You said: Tackle drug and alcohol use and associated anti-social behaviour in local parks including Rothamsted Park, Batford Springs and Wheathampstead playing fields.
We did: Redbourn recreational ground was previously identified as an issue but following intervention by your SNT, the number of calls has significantly decreased. Officers proactively patrol the areas in uniform and plain clothes, actively engage with people in the parks providing reassurance to residents. If ASB is detected, names and address are taken and persons dealt with by ASB orders, and if needed, enforcement.
Rothamsted Park is now the focus of our attention following an increased number of calls and reports from the public and partners. We have disrupted anti-social behaviour by seizing alcohol and issuing warnings. We have seen a reduction in criminal damage and anti-social behaviour since the introduction of CCTV cameras by Harpenden Town Council. However, we will continue high-visibility patrols in these areas and other parks in the area alongside covert (plain clothed) patrols.
Just after the meeting on Friday, two PCSOs went into Rothampstead Park and dealt with ASB – parents of the young people were spoken to.
You said: Tackle speeding in Sandridge, Wheathampstead, Harpenden and Redbourn.
We did: We have been carrying out regular speed enforcement supporting the Police and Crime Commissioners’ Drivesafe scheme on roads highlighted as being an issue to us including Redbourn Road, Marford Road, Lower Luton Road and Brewhouse Hill. PCSOs monitor vehicles’ speed and send awareness letters to those exceeding the limit.
In the last three months, over 20 people have been summonsed to court. Dozens of letters have also been sent to speeding drivers and we have issued several section 59 warnings following use of the speed enforcement van.
You said: Tackle theft from motor vehicles and vehicle interference (including the targeting catalytic converters by thieves) during early evenings.
We did: We have made six arrests in three months and we continue to carry out regular covert and overt patrols with Operation Scorpion officers. We have also been reminding drivers to make sure they securely lock their vehicles and remove all valuables. We have been fitting anti-number plate theft screws, used catalytic converter smart water marking kits and have given out ‘faraday bags’ to drivers to help prevent keyless thefts of motor vehicles.
Officers from SNT are also actively trying car door handles. If your vehicle is unlocked, you can expect a knock on the door from the officers informing you of this!
Harpenden Neighbourhood Sergeant Mark Essam said: “Is there an area of concern that you’d like us to focus on? Our neighbourhood priorities are shaped by your concerns, so please do continue to let us know what issues you are facing – you can report on echo (opens in a new window)– or speak to your local officer directly when they are out on patrol, or you can arrange to meet them by emailing them directy (opens in a new window).
“We are unable to deal with everything but if you need help or advise please contact me. My team and I are here to help you.”
He added: “I’m delighted to welcome PC John Copper – a very experienced officer from St Albans who will be covering Wheathampstead from 4 September. PC Iffy Iqbal will be going from Wheathampstead to Harpenden town centre.”