Watford's new police chief inspector says he is "committed to unearthing the core criminal issues" that affect the town's communities.

Ian Grout, born in Watford and a Hornets season ticket-holder, has been appointed as the town's new chief following the departure of Matt Phillips.

Ch Insp Grout brings with him two decades of experience in the police force after first joining Hertfordshire Constabulary in 1999.

He has held various roles in the county since then and most recently, as inspector, led the teams cracking down on organised crime in Hertfordshire.

Ch Insp Grout also had a prominent role when The Grove hotel on the outskirts of Watford hosted the Nato summit in December last year.

He was bronze commander, leading a team of 240 officers and staff responsible for securing the perimeter of the site and keeping world leaders such as US president Donald Trump safe, in what was the largest ever police operation in Hertfordshire.

Watford Observer:

Police outside The Grove ahead of the Nato summit. Credit: PA

Watford Observer:

Security blocks alongside the grounds of The Grove last December

Following his appointment, Ch Insp Grout said: "I bring with me more than two decades of experience, including a strong background in local policing, so I’m really looking forward to a new challenge as chief inspector for Watford.

"I have an extensive knowledge of the area, both geographically and professionally, and I am committed to unearthing the core criminal issues that affect the communities that call our town home.

"Watford is one of the busiest areas in the county in terms of demand and resourcing, and I am looking forward to working closely with our local partners so we can continue to work towards our goal of creating an even safer borough for people to live, work and visit."

Watford Observer:

He added: "Watford’s multi-cultural diversity is one of its greatest strengths and with that comes different needs and expectations from our communities, which we will always support.

"Everyone has the right to live unaffected by crime and anti-social behaviour and this is something I feel very strongly about.

"I am passionate about my team using their policing powers to improve the lives of residents in Watford. We are here to help people, and that is my focus."

Watford Observer:

Chief Inspector Grout will be based at Watford police station in Shady Lane

Born and bred in Watford, Ian still lives locally and is married with three children. Growing up he played for local sports teams and he is also a season ticket holder for Watford FC.

Watford mayor Peter Taylor said: "I’m delighted that Ian is taking on the role of chief inspector for our town.

"Along with all of his experience, his intimate understanding of Watford and our community will be invaluable.

"I am looking forward to working closely with the new chief inspector to ensure Watford residents continue to feel safe and that we tackle any problems in our wonderful town."

Ch Insp Grout's predecessor Matt Phillips has been promoted to Superintendent in the crime reduction and community safety unit based at Hertfordshire Constabulary's headquarters.