On Thursday 28th June, I spent an afternoon with Harpenden police, talking to them about the work that they are doing and the challenges they face. They are shifting focus to become more visible and more proactive, and in Harpenden, Redbourn and Wheathampstead they are spending a lot more time meeting local residents, holding open surgeries, and deterring criminal activity.
They have recently been focusing on stopping burglaries, which were becoming a real concern a few months ago, and these efforts seem to be improving the situation.
The challenges? They mostly talked about the difficulties of recruitment. We live in a beautiful but extremely expensive area, especially for public sector workers, and we need to do more to help police, teachers, nurses and others live locally. We have an opportunity to make good on this ideal over the coming 10-15 years, as we build more houses in our area.