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Meet your new sergeant for the Oxhey Safer Neighbourhood Team

1 Apr 2021
  • Sergeant James Stopford is joining the Oxhey SNT from Thursday 1 April, taking over from Sergeant Dan Amos

  • Sgt Stopford grew up in South Oxhey and went to primary school at Woodhall JMI so he has a lot of local knowledge

  • He says he is looking forward to continuing the good work of Sgt Amos

A new sergeant is joining a Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) in Three Rivers today (Thursday 1 April).

The Oxhey SNT has welcomed Sergeant James Stopford (pictured top) who will be leading a number of PCs and police community support officers (PCSOs) covering the South Oxhey, Eastbury, Carpenders Park, Oxhey Hall, Moor Park and Hayling areas.  

Sergeant Stopford – who will be based at the police station on Oxhey Drive – first joined the constabulary in 2008, as a PCSO in Rickmansworth.

In 2013, he moved to Watford and served as a police constable covering the town centre. During this time, he worked on both the intervention team (dealing with emergency 999 calls) and the SNT. In August 2019, he took up a Sergeant’s post on the Welwyn Hatfield South SNT.

“I really like SNT policing because it provides us with an opportunity to problem-solve in the longer term. It’s very much like old-style policing, with bobbies on the beat who know everyone, talk to everyone and help local people with local problems,” said James, who grew up in South Oxhey.

“I’m looking forward to continuing Dan’s fantastic work in Oxhey, which is an area I have a lot of affection for. I went to school at Woodhall JMI and my first ever job was at the leisure centre on Gosforth Lane. I still have friends in the area and I’ve watched the progress of the area’s regeneration project with keen interest. There is so much more diversity here now and new housing means there are lots more young families moving into the area.”

James takes the reins from his predecessor Sergeant Dan Amos (pictured bottom), who has accepted a new role in the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit.

Sergeant Amos joined the Oxhey SNT on 1 April 2019 – two years ago to the day – and says he is leaving with ‘a heavy heart’.

“The past two years I’ve been in post have obviously been very different to one another, due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dan, who first joined the police service in 2007.

“When we were plunged into lockdown for the first time last year, we continued to work closely with the community, engaging with people, increasing our foot patrols, visiting schools to talk to keyworker children and carrying out welfare checks on the vulnerable.

“We had brilliant support from our local councillors, our partners and the community as a whole. I am hugely proud of them, and my team, for how they responded to the demands of the pandemic. I am excited for my new role but I am leaving with a heavy heart. I will miss my colleagues immensely but I know they are in safe hands with James.

“I have previously worked on both intervention and firearms, but I have to say that working in SNT gave me a real sense of fulfilment. In intervention, we essentially only have time to put a sticking plaster on a situation, but in SNT we can take that plaster off, treat the wound, stitch it back up and make a real difference.”

In his new role Dan will be overseeing the tri-force puppy development programme based in Kempston in Bedfordshire. He will work alongside dog handlers to coordinate the purchasing of police dog puppies, as well as work with animal rescue centres to identify dogs with potential for a career in the police service.

James was the first person to run the You Said, We Did project in Welwyn Hatfield, to promote the work his team was doing to tackle the policing priorities the public highlighted on the force’s community voice platform, echo.

He said: “You Said, We Did is a great way to show our communities that we are listening, and we are acting on the information that they are giving us. Echo has really come into its own in the past year, as we’ve not been able to hold our usual face-to-face priority setting forums. The feedback we receive helps us to target our resources to where they’re needed most.”

If you live in Oxhey, visit bit.ly/police-oxhey (opens in a new window) and tell us what you think the local team should be focusing on.

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