Agenda item


To receive a verbal update from Hertfordshire Constabulary on their work in the Royston Area.


A verbal presentation was received from PS Jon Vine of Hertfordshire Constabulary.


Audio recording – 4 minutes 11 seconds


The Chair invited PS Jon Vine, Hertfordshire Constabulary to present. PS Vine thanked the Chair, gave a verbal update and advised that:


·       He had been in the role for around 12 years now and was aware of what was happening in the town, as well as the demands and needs of the community.

·       A new Chief Inspector had started.

·       The data provided covered from 1 April 2022 through to 1 March 2023 and was compared with the same period last year.

·       Overall crime was down 12.1%, from 924 recorded crimes to 812 this year.

·       Residential burglary had increased from 33 to 48 this year, but only 8 of these had been ‘traditional’ burglaries from a property. This was relatively low for an area of this size and communication through the OWL network had made the community aware of ongoing issues.

·       Burglary from a business had increase from 24 to 26, with one particular premises having been targeted 4 times.

·       Theft from a motor vehicle, including catalytic convertors, had decreased from 81 to 62. This figure had previous been higher due to a series of catalytic convertor thefts and this had now reduced in the area but remained a wider issue nationally.

·       There had been no robberies this year, compared to 8 last year.

·       There has been 330 reports of violence against the person, which included stalking and harassment, for 2022/23.

·       Common assaults were down from 154 to 118 and assault with injury had reduced from 103 to 84.

·       There had been a 9% reduction in criminal damage to 101 incidents this year.

·       There had been an increase in shoplifting, which had risen from 33 incidents last year to 44 this year. This had been attributed to increasing cost of living, which usually led to a spike in shoplifting.

·       Drug possessions had reduced from 33 to 14, public order offences had reduced from 73 to 40 and possession of a weapon was also down.

·       Generally, the area was a very safe place to live, with little to report as a major concern and the team were not facing the same challenges as reported last year.

·       There had been a spike in crime in the rural areas last year, which saw a telehandler stolen from Nuthampstead as well as other high value items. In conjunction with Cambridge Police, an arrest was made relating to this in December 2022 and no further issues had occurred since this arrest.

·       There continued to be reports of hare coursing in rural areas, however previous issues in town had not continued.

·       The crime figures for the area had allowed the team to focus on youth engagement, including the Thursday Night Project, run alongside partners, to engage with and conduct important outreach with young people in the area. A further request for funding for this scheme for a further 12 months was to be submitted.

·       This outreach work had helped to reduce the number of antisocial behaviour reports. 


The following Members asked questions:


·       Councillor Tony Hunter

·       Councillor Gerald Morris


In response to questions, PS Vine advised that:


·       Theft of petrol figures had previously been reported as bilking, however this had now been incorporated into theft figures.

·       Police would only get involved in theft of petrol where other crime had been involved, for example violence or threat of violence or fake number plates.

·       Despite population expansion in the area, crime had not risen accordingly.

·       The area generally did not have ‘home grown’ criminals and generally these had come from surrounding areas to commit crime.

·       There had been an increase in domestic crime, which was likely due to the increase in housing in the area.


The Chair thanked PS Vine for his presentation and for the ongoing work done by him and the Safer Neighbourhood Team.