Police commissioner: 'I want to make sure people of Watford can rely on crime stats' (From Watford Observer)
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Hertfordshire police and crime commissioner David Lloyd: 'I want to make sure public can rely on Watford crime stats'
Hertfordshire’s crime commissioner has said he wants the county’s chief constable to look more thoroughly at Watford’s crime figures to ensure the public can rely on the constabulary’s statistics.
David Lloyd’s comments come after he visited Watford on Friday to see how crime prevention services, such as Safer Clubbing at Night (Scan) Network, is being used in the town centre.
Mr Lloyd said the amount of crime being reported is decreasing and systems are being put in place to reduce the amount of crime taking place.
He said: "Crime is down significantly year on year. We continue to have amazingly low levels of crime and that is remarkable for a town like Watford, which is a vibrant town so close to North London.
"If you compared the crime to over the border in Harrow, people would give their eye teeth to live in Watford because crime is so low here."
Scan Net has been installed at some of the bars and nightclubs in the town to identify and keep records of who is on their premises.
Mr Lloyd added: "The system is a great way of ensuring that, when people come to Watford, they can go into a pub or club and know they are going to be safe because they know that everyone’s identity is in logged."
While reports of crimes such as violent sexual offences have decreased in the past six months compared to the same period during the previous year, the way in which crime figures are presented has also been amended.
Up to and including April 2013 reports of public order and possession of an offensive weapon were grouped together under the same category, with figures ranging between one and four crimes reported each month.
During the same period, between 40 and 61 violent crimes were logged each month.
However, from May 2013 onwards, public order offences and possession of a weapon were classified separately.
From that point on, reports of violent crimes began to drop, fluctuating between 31 and 42 reports while public order offences rose.
When asked whether the public can have faith in the town’s crime figures, Mr Lloyd said he has asked Hertfordshire’s chief constable, Andy Bliss, to "do some extra work" in making sure the statistics are a fair representation of what’s going on in Watford.
Mr Lloyd said: "I rely on the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to look at crime figures and HMIC have said that you can rely on them but I have asked the chief constable to do some extra work.
"I want to make sure we can rely on them and I think we can but I want to make sure that we’ve been round that loop again just to check."
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