St Albans has a new Chief Inspector.

Chief Insp Lynda Coates will lead more than 100 officers in the district after he predecessor Chief Insp Stuart Cheek left to head up the domestic abuse investigation and safeguarding unit in Hatfield.

Chief Insp Coates has previously worked as a Sergeant in St Albans in 2002 so has a good knowledge of the area. She has 23 years of experience working across Hertfordshire, and has also worked as an inspector and detective inspector.

She says her key focus will be on burglary, vehicle, and rural crime and will lead 100 officers from the safer neighbourhood teams, the local crime unit, the intervention team, the community safety unit, as well as volunteers including special constables.

St Albans’ newest recruit said: “I was so pleased to be posted here, especially having worked here previously. I’m looking forward to having a more strategic approach in this role and working with partner agencies including the council, fire, members of the public and schools.”

“I want to help people, keep people safe, reduce crime and catch people committing crime. I want to make sure my officers are highly visible; keep people updated about crimes that are emerging and on crimes they have been victims of, and focus on crimes causing the most harm within communities.

“In the St Albans district, burglary, vehicle crime and rural crime are our main priorities. I’d like to build on the great work Chief Insp Cheek has done to decrease all reported crime in the district, especially violent crime. Living in a rural area myself, I am especially committed to dealing with rural crime and I understand the impact this has on local farmers. It is personal for me and I will do everything I can to help farmers and landowners and deal robustly with people committing rural crime.

“I was immediately impressed with the dedication of the St Albans, Harpenden and London Colney officers, who all work so well together as a team, with other agencies, to help keep the district safe.”