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New faces join St Albans and London Colney Safer Neighbourhood Team

22 May 2020
  • Four new police officers and PCSOs have become part of the police family in the St Albans district.

  • We have a “fantastic, dedicated team with a variety of skills who want to make a real difference to resident’s lives,” says Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Wiseman.

  • There are several ways to contact them and you can follow them on facebook.com/stalbanspolice or on Twitter @StAlbansPolice.

Four new police officers and PCSOs have become part of the police family in the St Albans district.

PC Jo Busch and PCSOs Nigel Haggar and Richmond Appau have joined the St Albans Central, North and West team and PCSO Claire Hughes has joined the London Colney, St Stephens and St Albans East team.

PCSO Claire Hughes has been covering the Ashley and Cunningham area (St Albans East) having replaced PCSO Lena Bhogaita.

“This is the job I’ve always wanted to do,” said Claire, whose father was a police officer in Hemel for 30 years. “He loved being a ‘bobby on the beat’ and that is the job that appeals to me. I’ve always wanted to work for the police and this is a lifelong ambition for me. So far it has lived up to my expectations – I enjoy talking to people, listening, helping to resolve problems and providing a reassuring presence.” Claire, who has two grown-up children, brings a wealth of experience with her having previously worked in advertising for 10 years and as a Teaching and Learning Resources Manager in a primary school in Hertfordshire for an additional 10 years. She said: “I bring life experience to this role and can offer a common-sense approach to solving ongoing problems.”

During her time in post, she has helped find high-risk missing people, assisted the Fire and Rescue Service deal with a fire as well as resolve neighbourhood disputes. She is hoping to do more talks in schools addressing knife crime and potential drug issues to help equip young people to make the right choices.

In her spare time, she enjoys walking her dog, travelling, cooking and spending time with her family.

PCSO Richmond Appau also joined the London Colney Safer Neighbourhood Team but is now covering St Albans City Centre. He was previously a security officer for five years and worked with officers, who are now his colleagues.

He said: “Helping young people was one of the reasons I joined apart from other things like helping to reduce crime, getting involved with everything and helping others.”

When he was covering Oaklands College, he was talking to students about the issues around drugs and also intervened to help a vulnerable person who wanted to take his own life. He said: “This job is full of challenges and difficult decisions but I will always do my best to help, often working with other agencies. Every day is different and I try and find solutions. The key is communication and I’m passionate about helping people. So far, I’ve had a lot of appreciation about the job we are doing.” He has been giving out crime prevention advice to older people and helped with neighbourhood disputes. “I’m also working with the local community to deal with issues of young people hanging around or causing a nuisance.”

He added: “I’d encourage neighbours to look out for each other and encourage everyone to be kind to each other.”

Since he moved to the City Centre, he has been involved in dealing with road traffic collisions, finding missing people and running neighbourhood ‘surgeries’ and careers events. He has also helped apprehend shoplifters, burglars and has also been helping to deal with rough sleepers in the city centre and has issued Community Protection Notices (CPNs).

He said: “This job is the heart of the community and what we do helps the community we serve. I have always enjoyed working and helping the community in St Albans even when I was a security officer. One day, I may be helping someone who has dementia and the next, I could be chasing a shoplifter or someone interfering with a vehicle.”

In his spare time, he enjoys exercising and spending time with his young family, reading and watching detective movies.

PCSO Nigel Haggar transferred from Hemel Safer Neighbourhood Team to St Albans last year. He has lived in St Albans for many years, including during his school days, and is covering the city centre. “I have a great knowledge of St Albans and I love working and living here.” Anyone who has met Nigel will know that he is a people person and loves talking and listening to people.

He was previously a team leader for a supermarket. He was also a computer programmer and spent some time in America during 9/11. “This heavily influenced my decision to join the police. I can remember that day like it was yesterday.” He has been helping to deal with shoplifters, anti-social behaviour and street drinkers and trying to enforce the no-drinking area warnings. He said: “One of the problems is young people doing wheelies on their bicycles – one young boy was run over and broke his leg on St Peter’s Street, so I am trying to get the message out to young people about the obvious dangers.”

Nigel has developed a great working relationship with the shops and he gets a ‘buzz’ out of detaining shoplifters. He said: “I am here to deal with low level crime, so officers can deal with more serious incidents; I’m approachable and a visible deterrent to criminals. I like to go above and beyond, especially to protect the vulnerable and elderly.”

In his spare time, Nigel enjoys wildlife photography, cruises, DIY and spending time with his wife and three children.

PC Jo Busch joined as a police officer in September 2014 when she was 21 years old having just completed her Psychology degree.

From the age of 16 whilst she was studying, she worked as a sales assistant in a department store. In her final year at university she became a Special Constable (volunteer with full police powers) where she worked in Welwyn and Hatfield. She said: “This gave me a great insight into the role of a police officer and helped me make the final decision to join as a regular and I’ve not looked back since. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer from a young age so everything I’ve done in my career was engineered to gain experience so I had the right attributes to join.”

She has spent the last five years as an intervention officer (responding to 999 emergency calls). As soon as she finished her probationary period, she was the main coach for new officers joining up. She joined the St Albans Safer Neighbourhood Team as a temporary attachment to gain more experience. “But I loved it so much that I decided to apply for the role permanently.”

Since joining the SNT, she has applied for and executed a successful drugs warrant on an address which now has a partial closure order in place, limiting the activity that goes on at this address. She has also been heavily involved in dealing with a group of young people who are currently causing extensive anti-social behaviour issues and are involved in other criminality. She has also worked closely with the schools and gangs unit and Social Services assisting with diversionary work for these young people.

She said: “I have been proactive in targeting the key players in this group, including conducting plain clothes patrols around local hotspots. I would describe the job as challenging but rewarding. I enjoy the variety that the job brings, not knowing what you are going to each day. The reason I joined was to help people in their time of need, I try and go above and beyond what is expected.”

Jo is a big ‘foodie’ and loves cooking, baking and eating out. “This helps counteract all the delicious food I eat!” She also loves travelling and lives with her partner, who is also a police officer.

St Albans Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Wiseman added: “We are really lucky in the St Albans district to have a fantastic, dedicated team with a variety of skills who want to make a real difference to resident’s lives. They work with our partner agencies including St Albans City and District Council to deal with anti-social behaviour and crime and other problems affecting people’s quality of life. If you would like to speak to them – you can contact them via email at sntStAlbansCentralNorthandWest@herts.pnn.police.uk or sntLondonColneyStStephensandStAlbansEast, via 101 or you can phone one of our advertised social distancing surgeries.

“You can also let us know using our public feedback system echo. Go to bit.ly/police-stalbans and have your say.”

You can follow the SNT on Facebook at facebook.com/stalbanspolice or on Twitter @StAlbansPolice. To sign up to Neighbourhood Watch go to owl.co.uk.

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