‘Too many people turning a blind eye to crime’, police commissioner tells audience
PUBLISHED: 17:19 16 April 2013 | UPDATED: 17:19 16 April 2013
“TOO many” people are ignoring crime, Herts’ police commissioner told a public lecture on Monday.
But at the Hatfield event, David Lloyd was confronted by a fuming resident who claimed he had been “assaulted” by police.
In front of a large crowd at the University of Hertfordshire, a livid Allen Bowden, 69, claimed he and his wife had been injured by five officers in a raid at his home.
The Tring resident also claimed his requests for an explanation had been rejected, and he had been told he would have to pay a £10 fee for the release of statements from the officers.
The cost is due to Data Protection laws, police have said.
Mr Bowden said: “There’s no way I’m going to pay £10 for the privilege of being assaulted.”
But Mr Lloyd, elected as police and crime commissioner in November, said: “I don’t think it’s helpful to discuss private matters like this.”
Mr Bowden responded: “I’m happy for you to talk about it.”
The commissioner replied: “I don’t think it would be appropriate to get involved on a public stage.”
Audience members were asked if they wanted to allow Mr Bowden to continue, and a decisive show of hands silenced the protestor.
In the lecture, Mr Lloyd’s first since taking over the commissioner’s role, the police chief blasted a culture which had seen members of the public and businesses shy away from addressing crime.
He said: “I’m not saying everybody should intervene in every instance, people should have regard to their own safety, but far too many of us have reverted to a default of not intervening, thinking it’s the job of the police.
“Even worse is having a tendency to turn a blind eye.”
And he added: “Almost every one of us could do more to place ourselves clearly on the side of the law, against the malignant impact of lawbreaking.”
The commissioner praised Herts’ legion of Special Constables and neighbourhood watch teams.
And he said that the rights of intruders should be reduced in the eyes of the law.
Mr Lloyd said there is less than one police officer for every 500 members of the county’s population, and added: “The main thing that keeps us safe is that the vast majority of the population chooses not to commit crime.”
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