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Police officers return to Three Rivers
Police intervention officers covering Three Rivers have returned to the district following a two-year exile in Watford.
The five teams were relocated to Watford Police Station when the old Rickmansworth Police Station closed in February 2011. At the same time the safer neighbourhood team, the local crime unit and the community safety unit for Three Rivers moved into the Three Rivers District Council offices at Three Rivers House in Northway.
On Thursday (March 7), the intervention officers - who respond to emergency calls - joined their colleagues at the council offices meaning there will be a 24 hour a day police presence in Rickmansworth.
Chief Inspector for Three Rivers, Catherine Akehurst said: “It is great to have the teams back in Rickmansworth and it's good news for residents too.
“Although whilst working from the closest operational base in Watford Police Station, the teams have maintained cover for the district and kept response times in line with force requirements, there are real benefits to having them here.
“All key policing units will be back under one roof, creating better links with colleagues in the local crime unit and safer neighbourhood team, as well as with Three Rivers District Council.
“It will enable those officers to increase their knowledge and understanding of the local area and therefore better address the needs of the local community.”
The decision to return to Rickmansworth was announced last September following a drop in public satisfaction and an increase in burglaries.
A report to the district council's planning department revealed the removal of the teams from within the town has exacerbated crime, leading to – at one point - a 17 per cent increase in house burglaries, the report recommended the relocation of the team to Rickmansworth.
However police say there has been a 19 per cent reduction in all crime since April 2012 and during that time burglaries have actually reduced by 13 per cent over the same time period.
CI Akehurst added: “We’re seeing unprecedented crime reduction in both Three Rivers and Hertfordshire as a whole and I am confident that this move will help to further reduce crime in the district.
“People in Rickmansworth will see a difference in the area around the station, with additional police vehicles, but hopefully this will be a reassuring presence.”
Cllr Roger Seabourne, chair of the Three Rivers community safety partnership, said: "Three Rivers is one of the safest districts in England and by working closely with the police and other organisations we have continued to reduce crime in the Rickmansworth and Three Rivers area.
“I'm pleased our partnership with the Police is further strengthened by this co-locating of the intervention team with their safer neighbourhood colleagues who have been in their new station for two years.
“Sharing premises in Rickmansworth helps both organisations to protect the frontline services that residents care about whilst keeping costs down."