Did Herts Police Tsar deliberately mislead County Council?

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, was recently challenged at a Council meeting by Paul Zukowskyj, Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for resources, about the loss of constabulary staff, including significant numbers of police officers and PCSO’s, since Mr Lloyd was first elected in 2012.

Government data clearly show a fall in constabulary staff from 3729 FTE in 2012 to 3398 FTE in 2017.

The minutes of the meeting state “Mr Lloyd stated that he did not recognise the challenge and provided assurance that his office was committed to retaining the same number of PCSO’s within the county”. In the meeting Mr Lloyd stated that the staff numbers appeared to have fallen much more than they actually had due to the establishment of cross-county collaborative units and redeployment of staff to them.

However, in response to an FOI to Hertfordshire Constabulary, the Constabulary state they have followed the guidance by the Home Office in preparing the figures: “For the purposes of counting accurately, officers and staff that are part of these units should be counted only by the force whose payroll they are on.”

So are the staff on the payroll of another force?

Not according to Mr Lloyd’s Group Statement of Accounts 2016/17, which states “The collaborated units are jointly staffed and funded by the two or three forces as appropriate.”

Paul commented: “It would appear Mr Lloyd is in denial about the scale of his cuts to our police service, to the point where he appears to be willing to mislead community representatives when they ask a simple question. He should be under no illusions about the quality of service we get, the recent PEEL rating of ‘requires improvement’ in keeping residents safe should say everything Mr Lloyd needs to hear about his performance in this role.

“I have to question Mr Lloyd’s fitness to continue the role he currently has, let alone his fitness to also take over the Fire and Rescue service. He should consider his position carefully.”

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