A new police officer says his focus is ensuring low-level anti-social behaviour does not turn into serious crime.

Mark Bilsdon has been appointed as the new safer neighbourhood inspector in Hertsmere, and has now been in the position for around three weeks.

Insp Bilsdon’s 20 year career in the force has seen him tackle and lead some major incidents in Hertfordshire but says he is looking forward to working with the community in Hertsmere.

He said: “I was pleased to be offered this post as I welcome the unique range of issues covering three very different areas – Bushey, Potters Bar and Borehamwood.

“I’ve been meeting with colleagues in the community safety unit at Hertsmere Borough Council, housing associations, and schools. I am keen to do further work with schools to help prevent knife crime escalating like it is in other parts of the country.

“Whilst Hertsmere is a great place to live, unfortunately it does attract criminals, many opportunist. My job is to stop lower level anti-social behaviour escalating into more serious crime.

“I’ve inherited a great, proactive team who want to make a difference every day.”

As an intervention inspector, Insp Bilsdon’s previous role was managing two teams in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, overseeing a team of more than 20 officers, who responded to critical and high-risk incidents.

He had to manage the policing response to a suspect package being found at the Tesco store in Hatfield in 2017. The response, which involved the EOD, involved evacuating the store - fortunately the package was a false alarm.

Insp Bilsdon has also worked previously in Watford as a sergeant. He first joined the police aged 30.

Insp Bilson replaces Insp Pete Edwards who is now working as the staff officer for the chief constable in Hertfordshire.

Insp Bilsdon is the second new face in Hertsmere’s policing team after Clare Smith joined as new Chief Inspector.