A new chief inspector has been appointed in St Albans to manage the district's policing teams.

Chief Inspector Ken Townsend has taken up the role from Chief Inspector Simon Warwick, who has been seconded to the Home Office as a temporary Superintendent.

CI Townsend started his career in St Albans in 1994 as a police constable before climbing up the ranks to become Chief Inspector.

"I’ve spent the majority of my career in St Albans and have previously lived in the City, I have a good understanding of the area and knowledge of the local offenders", said CI Townsend.

"Despite political changes and centralising units and departments, policing issues haven’t really changed. Building on Simon’s excellent work, my focus will be to ensure that the team at St Albans maintain a common sense approach to policing, helping to reduce and prevent crime, tracking down offenders and supporting victims of crime.

"St Albans is a fantastic city of historical importance with close links to London and from a policing perspective; we have low levels of crime."

He said the police’s main priority will be to continue to reduce rates of burglary and even further ensuring offenders who are trying to recruit young people into a life of crime.

They will also be working closely with parents of young people involved in anti-social behaviour (ASB).

CI Townsend joined Hertfordshire Constabulary at the age of 30 after a 10 year career selling cars in St Albans. He was a Detective Constable at St Albans for a number of years before being promoted to Sergeant working at Hatfield and St Albans as both a Patrol Sergeant and a Custody Sergeant.

As a Detective Sergeant he worked in a number of different investigative teams culminating in running the Offender Management Unit (dealing with the county’s most prolific offenders), before being promoted to an Intervention Inspector covering St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.

Most recently, he has been the Detective Inspector for neighbouring CSP (Community Safety Partnership) Hertsmere: "I have dealt with progressive rehabilitation of offenders, but I have a clear message for those that continue to commit crime in the St Albans district, the gloves are off and we will do everything we can to lock you up."

CI Townsend said: "I thoroughly enjoy my job - it is immensely rewarding and varied, whether it be helping people in crisis or dealing with prolific or persistent criminals. There are also the tragedies that we have to deal with.

"I have a fantastic team of more than 150 police officers and staff - including Intervention Officers (dealing with emergencies and often the first response to the public), Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Local Crime Unit (CID), each of them plays an equally important role in policing the district.

"We cover a large geographical area that not only includes St Albans itself, but stretches out to Harpenden, Wheathampstead, Redbourn, London Colney and Colney Heath."