Crime up in Welwyn Hatfield ‘nothing to be alarmed by’, says Chief Inspector
- Credit: Archant
In a week when it was revealed overall crime is up 11 per cent in the borough, Welwyn Hatfield’s Chief Inspector has reassured locals and explained the force’s top priorities.
CI Adam Willmot revealed that Welwyn Hatfield is the worst area in Hertfordshire for shoplifting, with 299 incidents reported between April and July – a 50 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.
It is unclear why the borough’s figures rose disproportionately to other areas, but he said easy access routes from Stevenage and St Albans and the perception of light sentences at court were contributing factors.
“We are just seeing that for the first time people saying they are worried about shoplifting because they are worried it will put the price of their weekly shop up,” said CI Willmot.
“Times are hard enough as it is, if shops are expecting huge shop losses and they have to put prices up that will affect everyone.”
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Domestic Abuse is another priority in Welwyn Hatfield, and although according to stats it has gone up 17 per cent this year, Mr Willmot puts the increase down to the public’s growing confidence to report it – which he welcomed.
“It’s important victims understand we are here to help them, and offenders understand we are here to get them,” he said.
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CI Willmot, 47, has been in his position for two years, and before joining the force in 1992, the Saracens fan was a surveyor, and also did stints in the Navy and a brewery.
Overall crime has gone up nearly nine per cent across Hertfordshire, but Mr Willmot said the slightly higher rise in the borough was “nothing to be alarmed by”.
He attributed it to “small incremental increases” leading to a “cumulative effect”, as well as improved reporting.
While shoplifting, domestic abuse and burglaries are top of the current hit-list for CI Willmot, cyber crime is what he sees as the biggest threat on the horizon.
A keen motorcyclist and an avid skier, Mr Willmot also enjoys playing the guitar and clay pigeon shooting.