‘Don’t tell us how to do our job,’ police tell Northchurch politicians

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Police say they will not be told who and who not to appoint by village leaders who complained about an officer being assigned to cover their patch.

Northchurch Parish Council says it is ‘very happy’ with the officer covering the Berkhamsted Rural patch, which includes the village, at the moment.

Herts Police wants to swap PC Stuart Francis with PC Mark Proctor, who now covers the Berkhamsted Castle ward, but the council says this is ‘unnecessary’.

Chairman Alan Fantham said: “We thought that the police should have discussed this matter with us rather than just telling us: ‘This is what’s going to happen.’

“But I appreciate what the newly elected police commissioner said to me – you can’t tell the police where they should place their policemen.”

Insp George Holland, neighbourhood inspector for Dacorum, said police often take the views of elected politicians into account.

But he said the decision was based purely on operational policing need, using officers’ skills and expertise to best effect, keeping people safe, cutting crime and catching criminals.

He said: “PC Mark Proctor has 20 years’ exemplary service with Hertfordshire Constabulary.

“He’s an exceptional officer and has great expertise in dealing with issues that affect rural areas so he’ll be an invaluable asset to the Berkhamsted rural area.

“He has an excellent local reputation and is well-respected by residents and local councillors alike.”