Extra patrols will be deployed to crime hotspots in Hertfordshire as part of a new £1m operation to get tough on antisocial behaviour and serious violence.

The countywide crackdown has been launched by Jonathan Ash-Edwards, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire.

Increased police visibility and additional patrols are going to be focused on areas across each of the ten districts in Hertfordshire as part of Operation Hotspot.

The 12-month cash boost secured by the PCC's office will enable Hertfordshire Constabulary to put more uniformed officer time on the streets in 26 specific areas with a history of high crime and ASB.

Police officers will also be joined by Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), local authority community safety wardens, and Business Improvement District patrol staff.

These patrols aim to disrupt ASB, drive down crime, and boost public confidence and business engagement.

Every district and borough across Hertfordshire will benefit with areas included being Hertford, Hitchin, Bishop’s Stortford, St Albans, Rickmansworth, South Oxhey, Borehamwood, Watford, Stevenage, Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn Garden City and Waltham Cross.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Herts PCC Jonathan Ash-Edwards with police officer in StevenageHerts PCC Jonathan Ash-Edwards with police officer in Stevenage (Image: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire)

Issues which will be tackled include nuisance behaviour, shoplifting, robbery, begging, drug use and dealing, serious violence, assaults, vandalism, graffiti and purse dipping.

Jonathan Ash-Edwards said: “Hertfordshire residents have told me they want to see visible and responsive policing tackling antisocial behaviour and disorder in communities. That is what Operation Hotspot will deliver.

“Antisocial behaviour and neighbourhood crime make people feel unsafe in their communities and it is vital that people have confidence that action will be taken.

"Many of the hotspot patrols will be in town centres, helping ensure these areas remain pleasant places to visit, supporting the vitality of the local economy.

“More officer time will be put on the streets to concentrate on public areas where there are issues with drug taking, nuisance motorbikes and low-level intimidation.

"These high visibility patrols are designed to deter and catch people committing offences, as well as boosting engagement with residents and businesses."

The PCC added: “I will be working with Hertfordshire Constabulary and our community safety partners, including local councils, to ensure this funding is used to the best effect.

"I look forward to seeing the impact of Operation Hotspot in the coming weeks and months."

Chief Superintendent Dean Patient said: “The government funding will enable additional targeted patrols in areas designated as hotspots for violent crime and antisocial behaviour in every district and borough in Hertfordshire.

"Local police teams will be developing the most appropriate strategies for their locations, however every hotspot should see an additional visible uniformed presence in the area to deal with problems and importantly deter people from taking part in unwanted behaviour in the first place.”

The money has been awarded after pilot schemes in ten areas nationally, leading to 800 arrests, close to 2,000 stop-and-searches, and around 700 uses of antisocial behaviour powers.