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Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner, David Lloyd, says offenders should be 'punished in the pocket' for their crimes
Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has called for offenders to be forced to pay a "hotel bill" to cover the cost of their stay in police cells.
Councillor David Lloyd made the remarks in an "open letter to Hertfordshire" posted on the Herts Commissioner website a month after being elected to the position.
In the article, Councillor Lloyd suggests offenders should be "punished in the pocket" for their crimes including the cost of a stay in the cells and the full cost of removing and storing vehicles.
He comments: "Those who commit offences should be punished in the pocket - this could mean paying the full costs of removing and storing vehicles, or paying the ‘hotel bill’ for a stay in the cells.
"And the principle of ‘offender pays’ could be taken further still for other types of crime. I also want to see a concerted attack on criminal assets, ploughing these back into services for decent people."
Figures released by The Ministry of Justice in 2009 claim the cost of keeping an offender in a police cell is £385 per night, although officials from the Liberal Democrats argued the true cost was more than double that.
Councillor Lloyd, who is also an elected member of Hertfordshire County Council and Dacorum Borough Council, also called for victims of crime to have a greater say about what happens to offenders and to be able to track the progress of investigations.
He said: "Rehabilitation of offenders appears to focus on the wrong people at times. Victims should have a greater say about what happens to those that cause damage or injury to them.
"More victim and public voices should be heard in deciding how behaviour is dealt with and how offenders pay back for crime."
He added: "I am a big fan of Hertfordshire Constabulary. When a crime is committed their record of attending the scene and their investigation is possibly the best in the country.
"However, once they have left, victims can feel forgotten, even though efforts continue to catch the offenders.
"This has to be improved. If I can track my purchases online then you should be able to keep up to date with the progress of your investigation."