Police and Crime Commissioner praises Royston’s community spirit on visit to town

HERTFORDSHIRE’S new Police and Crime Commissioner has praised Royston’s “community spirit” after visiting the town for the first time since his election.

David Lloyd met the founders of the town’s Speedwatch scheme, Brain Haughey and Tony Harris, and also met the Mayor of Royston, Cllr Lindsay Davidson, and county councillors Fiona Hill and Tony Hunter at Royston Police Station.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “I get a real sense of community in Royston. It’s a town where people really know each other and where there is excellent community spirit.

“Gaining an insight into the area from the people who know most about it is an excellent way to determine where I need to focus the Constabulary and how it interacts with other community safety partners.

“The local partnership between the councils, businesses and police is a really good example of how communities can work together to reduce crime and to deter and catch criminals.”

The Commissioner spoke to Mr Haughey and Mr Harris in some depth about how Speedwatch works. The scheme has had a positive effect on reducing excessive speeds through villages around Royston, while the use of volunteers ensures that police can support them but also concentrate on other issues.

The Commissioner also took part in a round table discussion about issues affecting Royston, where he was joined by councillors, North Herts district council’s Community Development officer, Alan Fleck, and Geraint Burnell from Royston First.

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Royston’s Neighbourhood sergeant, Jon Vine, praised the support of the Royston First Business Improvement District Company, which funds Operation Artemis, additional police patrols in industrial areas and the town centre. He also explained how ANPR cameras on the roads into the industrial areas had dramatically reduced the number of burglaries businesses were suffering.

“It is obvious that speeding is a very high priority for local people, especially villagers, as well as having a vibrant but safe night time economy and a town that criminals don’t want to come to,” said Commissioner Lloyd.

“I was really impressed with the work of Brian and Tony and their band of volunteers. I will be looking at the technology and processes they use to see how I can support and encourage this sort of initiative across the county. “As one of my priorities, dangerous and anti-social driving is an issue I will be concentrating on in the months ahead.”