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Hertfordshire Constabulary's bid to protect Watford's vulnerable and elderly on Radlett Road estate
A large-scale police campaign has been launched in Watford help protect vulnerable and elderly people from falling prey to criminals.
Last weekend officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary were joined by volunteers, cadets and politicians to knock on more than 400 doors on the Radlett Road estate.
The drive, called Safer Streets, saw more than 160 people sign up to the area’s neighbourhood watch and more than 100 to the police’s online crime alert system.
The initiative is set to be repeated across other parts of the town over the coming months.
Watford’s new chief inspector, Dave Wheatley, said the aim of the scheme is to find out what residents’ policing needs and priorities were as well as to build up intel on where vulnerable residents live.
He said: "We had around 25 people that went out and flooded that Radlett Road estate, knocking on the door asking ‘what are your problems? What are your issues?’ and giving preventative messages.
"Certainly with a couple of doors we’ve knocked on we have identified who probably need a bit more support shall we say. They are not vulnerable as such, but not getting the support and they are now on our radar."
"My concern is that there people out there who we don’t know about who are being targeted around antisocial behaviour."
The chief inspector added he wanted to know where elderly and vulnerable people were in the borough as they were often the preferred targets for criminal.
He said: "What we have found is that when rogue traders knock on the door, they want to sell you a car, they want to do some work for you, and rogue trading then leads to burglary. What we want to do is make sure that we tackle that.
"I was out with a PCSO today in Oxhey and said ‘can you tell me where the elderly people live on your patch?’, the PCSO pointed out three blocks of sheltered housing where the majority of people are elderly.
"If I was villain I would be looking at that area and thinking ‘how can I target those people with vulnerability’.
"So it’s about mapping in Watford where all the vulnerable people are and making sure they have the right support."
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