New Sergeants for Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team
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Putting the ‘local’ into local policing, the Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) has been joined by two new sergeants who both grew up in the area.
SNTs are tasked with tackling short- and long-term neighbourhood issues including anti-social behaviour. The Welwyn Hatfield SNT is split into three areas; North, West and South. Each area is led by a sergeant and made up of PCs and PCSOs. The whole of Welwyn Hatfield’s SNT is overseen by Inspector Amy Sheldon.
Taking over the reins of Welwyn Hatfield North, is Sergeant Deane Brittain who is covering for Sergeant Emma Francis whilst she is on maternity leave.
The North area encompasses Welwyn West, Welwyn East, Haldens, Sherrards, Handside, Peartree and Panshanger.
Sergeant Brittain grew up in Welwyn Hatfield and spent 13 years working at a local business in Welwyn Garden City before deciding that he wanted give back to his community by becoming a police officer.
He said: “I am proud to have been raised in Welwyn Hatfield and I feel really lucky to have been posted in the area where I grew up. Most officers say that making a difference is one of the best things about being a police officer and it feels even better when you’re making a positive difference to the place your friends and family call home.
Sergeant Brittain joined Hertfordshire Constabulary in 2019 and previously worked on the Welwyn Hatfield SNT as a police constable.
Reflecting on the most memorable moment of his service so far, he recalls the incident last year in which the SNT helped save the life of a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest at Stanborough Park.
He said: “That incident will always stand out to me. We were at the park hosting a community engagement event and I think that really highlights the importance of officers being out and about and visible. I want to ensure we carry on with those levels of engagement and opportunities for the public to meet us face-to-face.
“I encourage the residents of Welwyn Hatfield North to keep interacting with us and letting us know their views. We constantly check echo, our community voice platform, to see which issues you want us to focus on.”
Next up joining the team is Sergeant Robert Wilson. He studied at the University of Hertfordshire and worked at Welwyn Garden City’s John Lewis before joining the police in 2016.
He is leading the West team which encompasses Hatfield Villages, Hatfield Central, Hatfield South West and the University of Hertfordshire.
He said: “My mum remembers me being obsessed with the police as a kid! I remember once attending a community event and when a police officer said hello to me, he knew my name. Clearly, my mum had told him but I was so impressed! I had a really positive view of policing as a child and I want to create the same for our young generation. With the creation of The Bunker here at Hatfield Police Station, I feel confident that we are taking the right steps to building that important trust.
Sergeant Wilson previously worked on the Intervention Team at Watford, responding to 999 calls. He said: “One of my most memorable moments in the police was when my colleague and I were first on scene for a stabbing. Heavy traffic was causing problems for the ambulance and so we gave first aid to the victim whilst we waited for the paramedics. The victim survived and the offender got a good sentence. Incidents like that are tough but they remind you of the difference you can make.”
Looking ahead to his new role in Welwyn Hatfield, Sergeant Wilson said: “Working on an SNT means you can deal with long-term issues and I am really looking forward to getting stuck into that. I want the people of Welwyn Hatfield West to know that we are always listening. We might not be able to fix a problem right there and then but we will do everything we can, working with our local partners such as the borough council and schools, to ensure that problems are fixed in the long term.
“Neighbourhood Policing is all about engaging with the public so please tell us when you start to notice a problem. Don’t forget that as well as letting us know your views on echo, you can keep up to date with local policing news through OWL and our social media accounts.”
Welwyn Hatfield South remains looked after by Sergeant Alex Smedley. This area covers Hollybush, Cuffley, Howlands, Northaw, Hatfield East, Hatfield South, Welham Green, Brookmans Park and Little Heath.
You can use our community voice platform echo to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit the following and tell us your thoughts.
To receive police messages about a range of topics including burglaries, scams and missing people in your local area, sign up to OWL (opens in a new window) or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.