Violent crime in Watford has doubled in the last year. Of the 113 robberies in Hertfordshire in 1981, there were 32 in the Watford division, twice the number of last year.

But the picture is not all gloom. For the first time in three years there was a considerable drop in juvenile crime and there was an overall reduction in criminal damage. And the detection rate of 50 per cent was a 6 per cent improvement.

Chief Superintendant Michael Webber said there had been no murders in the division from December 1978 until this year, when there were three in about a month.

“People can walk through the streets of Watford as safely as anywhere else and safer than a lot of other places. But the town is less safe than it used to be.

“This is nothing to do with the policing of Watford but is a reflection on the overall drop in moral standards.”

[From the Watford Observer of February 26, 1982]

For more stories from the Watford Observer's archive, go to our Nostalgia section by clicking HERE