It is all change in Dacorum as the borough welcomes four new Sergeants
Sergeant Paul Conway, Sergeant Sarah Bunyan, Sergeant James Bessant and Sergeant Damien Hewitt have recently taken the helm of their respective teams, and they have big plans about how they are going to shape neighbourhood policing in their areas.
Sergeant Conway, who started as a PCSO in Berkhamsted 15 years ago, is leading the Hemel Hempstead North, Rural, West and Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, which covers the wards of Hemel Hempstead Town, Grovehill, Woodhall Farm, Watling, Highfield and Gadebridge.
He was based on the Intervention and Response Team and also has experience as a proactive Operation Scorpion officer. He became part of the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) in Hemel Hempstead just over a year ago.
Paul said: “I joined the police because I wanted to help victims of crime and bring criminals to justice. Neighbourhood policing allows us to deal with the root of issues, while giving us access to a whole toolkit which helps us to reduce criminal behaviour.
"I am confident that my team will make Hemel Hempstead a safer place to live, while at the same time making it a hostile environment for criminals to operate.”
Sergeant Bunyan, who joined the force as a call operator when she was 18, is leading the Kings Langley and Hemel Hempstead South Safer Neighbourhood Team, which covers the wards of Leverstock Green, Bennetts End, Apsley, Corner Hall, Nash Mills, Kings Langley, Chipperfield, Flaunden and Bovingdon.
She has worked on the Intervention and Response Team in St Albans, before being promoted to Sergeant in Hemel Hempstead in 2015. She was posted to the Dacorum Safer Neighbourhood Team at the beginning of the year.
Sarah said: "I’m really glad to be back working in Hemel, having the opportunity to talk with people and creating strong partnerships for the benefit of everyone. My team and I will be doing our best to solve those community issues which will make day-to-day life better.
“I have already identified that anti-social behaviour at the leisure complex at Jarman Park is something that needs to be looked at in more detail, and I am awaiting the results of a community survey so I can analyse the direct feedback from residents about their concerns before creating a plan of action that my team and I can implement.”
Sergeant Bessant, who joined the force as a PCSO in Hemel Hempstead, is leading the Hemel Hempstead East Safer Neighbourhood Team, which covers the wards of Adeyfield East, Adeyfield West, Boxmoor, Chaulden and Warners End.
After being promoted to Sergeant in 2016 he led one of Watford’s Intervention and Response Teams before taking on the Safer Neighbourhood Team role in Hemel Hempstead last month.
James said: “In my new Safer Neighbourhood role I am really looking forward to getting to cracking down on the issues which in turn I hope will have a real long-term positive impact on people’s lives.
“I will be encouraging my team to continue their proactive working style by responding to our resident’s concerns and supporting them to think outside the box when formulating a plan to tackle issues raised.
"Currently we are receiving reports regarding suspected drugs activity in certain areas so we are working to gather the evidence we need to take overt action, because we know that drugs and the associated anti-social behaviour can make neighbours’ lives a misery. We are not afraid to take action.”
Sergeant Hewitt is leading the Berkhamsted and Tring Safer Neighbourhood Team, after previously head up the Hemel Hempstead East SNT, his area covers the wards of Berkhamsted East, Berkhmasted West, Berkhamsted Castle, Northchurch, Ashridge, Aldbury and Wigginton, Tring Central, Tring East and Tring West and Rural.
Damien said: "I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to work in Berkhamsted and Tring. Both areas have a real community feel and I am looking forward to working with our partners to ensure both towns and the surrounding villages remain a safe place to live.
"I will be encouraging my team to continue with their regular foot patrols so they are visible to the community.”
Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the county are using echo, a feedback tool, to shape their policing priorities which are reset every six months, it is an easy way for residents to share their views and opinions about policing in Hertfordshire.