New chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield admits ‘we can’t solve crime on our own’

PUBLISHED: 12:49 03 August 2012

Dave Wheatley, chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield

Dave Wheatley, chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield


THE new chief inspector for Welwyn Hatfield made the frank admission that police cannot solve crime on their own, and “need to look beyond our own resources”.

Partnerships are the key to effective policing, according to chief inspector Dave Wheatley, the new man in charge of the Times Territory beat.

Mr Wheatley praised the work of special constables, police volunteers, media outlets and Neighbourhood Watch organisations, in making up for the limitations of the Constabulary.

But, despite the admission, the ex-detective said Hertfordshire was “at the forefront” of this kind of ‘partnership policing’ and was a “top-performing force”.

Less than three weeks into the role, after taking over from Fiona Gaskell, Ch insp Wheatley is clearly relishing the job.

“It’s an exciting place and it’s an exciting time for us,” he said.

“The message I want to get out is that crime overall is falling, [it is currently] 13 per cent [down] on last year’s figures.”

Ch insp Wheatley said one area he was very keen to tackle was anti-social behaviour and the “links between anti-social behaviour and low-level street crime” and burglary.

He said he was not about to change what he deemed to be a winning formula with crime falling, and said he was determined to “maintain the public’s confidence in the service we provide”.

He said another priority was protecting vulnerable victims of crime.

“I’ve seen the affect that crime can have on these victims first hand,” he said.

And the chief inspector, who has served Hertfordshire Constabulary for 22 years, moved to reassure residents, after recent violent crimes like the murder of Hatfield man Darren Leonard, and a thug brandishing a knife at police in the town.

He told the WHT: “I can understand the public’s concern about the awful things that have gone on over the last few weeks.”

But he stressed crimes of that nature were “rare”.

Overall he said he was pleased with the constabulary’s record.

“The approach that we have at the moment is obviously working,” he said.

“But we’re always looking for ways to improve.”

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