Beds, Herts & Bucks

PCC David Lloyd: 'Make suspects pay for police cell stay'

David Lloyd, Conservative candidate Image copyright Other
Image caption Conservative candidate David Lloyd was elected the first PCC for Hertfordshire

Suspects should be charged for being kept overnight in police cells, a police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

David Lloyd, PCC in Hertfordshire, said the "honest taxpayer" should not be forced to meet the cost.

Instead criminals "should be punished in the pocket", Conservative Mr Lloyd said in an open letter laying out policing proposals.

Hertfordshire Police said it was "working closely" with Mr Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said he thought "most people" would agree with his plan.

Chase payment

"Putting people up in cells overnight really is a very expensive part of policing and is almost always the fault of the individual," he said.

"I think most people in this country would say [offenders] should pay for it, not the honest taxpayer."

He added that people could also pay for removing and storing vehicles.

Explaining the plan to the BBC, he said: "We need a society where people pay when they do something wrong."

He also called for the assets of criminals to be seized and invested in public services.

Mr Lloyd is preparing his first Police and Crime Plan and said the principle of "offender pays" was at the heart of his strategy for policing in the county.

He said the proposal to charge for overnight stays was just at the consultation stage and he "would have to work out" what to do with people who could not pay.

'Policing effort'

"We will work through whether or not we can then chase them through whichever means is possible," he said.

"We will have to accept there will be some people who can't pay.

"But let's look at how we can make it work rather than those it might not work with."

Mr Lloyd added he would also need to look at what would happen if those arrested and held were found to be innocent.

The Police and Crime Commissioner admitted his idea was "not the finished product" and he needed to check the legality of the proposal but he had had "a lot of very positive coverage so far".

"The feedback I have got so far is that broadly people think this is a good idea," he said.

Andy Bliss, Hertfordshire Chief Constable, said: "We are working in close support to provide operational input as [Mr Lloyd] consults with the public about his ideas for further enhancing the policing effort locally."

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