Help police Welwyn Hatfield

A CALL has been made for residents to volunteer their services to help police Welwyn Hatfield. Chief inspector Dave Newsome underlined the need for people to join organisations like Neighbourhood Watch, as Hertfordshire Constabulary continued to tighten p

A CALL has been made for residents to volunteer their services to help police Welwyn Hatfield.

Chief inspector Dave Newsome underlined the need for people to join organisations like Neighbourhood Watch, as Hertfordshire Constabulary continued to tighten purse strings.

He was speaking at Monday night's local launch of the police authority's policing plan for 2009/12.

He said: "We want people to volunteer. They are an integral part of policing within the community.


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"We want to work closely with the community and in the economic climate we need to find new methods that do not put more pressure on police officers."

Deputy central area commander Andy McCracken warned cuts were unavoidable due to the credit crunch.

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He said: "There is a risk with the funding shortfall we may have to reduce officer numbers, but this does not mean reduction in service, it means reorganisation and development."

Just last month, at the main policing plan launch, chief constable Frank Whiteley had said he hoped front line jobs would not be under threat. About 250 management and admin posts were to be slashed over the next three years, though.

A rise in household burglary was also seen as a high priority concern in the current economic climate.

Chief insp Newsome said: "Burglary remains a constant area of focus in Welwyn Hatfield. We are constantly seeking to develop new ways of combating it."

However, with the new police station and courthouse in Hatfield, the continued collaboration with colleagues in Bedfordshire and developments in new technologies, police had taken positive steps for the future.

In the last year, the borough had seen a three per cent drop in crime.

Officers were also aiming to improve community relations by being on the beat up to 80 per cent of the time, door knocking and holding community meetings.

Chief insp Newsome added: "We have a strong, dedicated police force.

"They enjoy policing Welwyn Hatfield and it shows in their performance. Working with the community is an essential part of this.

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