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Brookmans Park and Little Heath
Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Autumn 2006

Message from your ward constable PC Jo Wakelen

PC Jo Wakelen
PC Jo Wakelen

My name is WPC Jo Wakelen and I would like to introduce myself as your new Community Police Officer.

I have been a police officer for just under 3 years and have been working as an intervention officer out of Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City.

During that time I have gained an in-depth and valuable knowledge of the local areas.

I have chosen to move to the community team as I now want to work with communities and create good relationships between them and their police.

I am originally from Lincoln and decided to join Hertfordshire Police in 2004.

Before becoming a police officer I was a freelance team leader for a company called World Challenge Expeditions and specialised in working with under-privileged young people in the outdoors.

I also worked with young people from private school, including Ascot School for Girls, working with Princess Beatrice. Prior to that I lived in the Lake District and worked in the outdoor teambuilding industry.

Various Issues

  1. In the previous four months there have been 35 incidents in your area ranging from criminal damage to domestic incidents. The percentage has dropped due to high visibility patrols by PCSOs and police officers and Brookmans Park is considered one of the lowest crime areas for the Welwyn/Hatfield sector.
  2. One of our area co­ordinators is a governor of Brookmans Park primary school and has recently been involved in cases of unauthorised entry to the school playing field. Access to any of the school premises outside of school hours is unauthorised. The whole area is out of bounds when the school is closed and is not insured for any unofficial activities. Police have now been asked to help monitor the situation. The grounds are not for public access and people using this area could be considered as trespassers.
  3. Some residents have already received warnings about a charity scam operating earlier this year. One individual was claiming to be collecting on behalf of Iranian refugees. That in itself is not illegal, but we hope all householders would be very careful who they make their donations to. There are a few regular annual appeals which we all recognise - Red Cross, Scope, Christian Aid, Poppy Appeal, etc. - but all their collectors carry official ientification. Similarly, any door-to-door salesmen should have identification, as hawking, or cold calling, in fact is illegal. Many neighbourhood watch residents have been given printed stickers to put by their front doors warning that door-to-door sales are not wanted; and any sales person may be asked to go through a lengthy identification process. If you would like a sticker, please ask your co-ordinator.
  4. Speeding is still a problem in the village. PC Jitu Davé recently did a traffic survey which revealed 37.5% of motorists driving along Bluebridge Road were breaking the law. You can read the full report on this site by clicking here. This is a problem about which your area co­ordinators have regularly asked for help for 20 years! It was observed that visitors, residents, business people, dads with and without children on board, all drove their vehicles over the speed limit. The same thing applied to Pine Grove and both roads will be monitored on a regular basis. Because of speeding and other traffic problems, however, there is now a traffic control system in place around the Primary School on Bradmore Way.
  5. Halloween is coming up and without a doubt there will be some incidents of tomfoolery. The community team will be out patrolling on this night and will be endeavouring to prevent any problems.
  6. I would also like to remind people that firework night is also fast approaching. Please take into account the care of your animals and keep them indoors whilst fireworks are being let off. Also remember it is an offence, for anyone under the age of 18, to either be found with a firework or to throw or fire a firework. There is also a firework curfew in place (11 pm to 7 am). All of these offences will be dealt with by a penalty notice for disorder which comes with an £80 fine. A person can only be issued with one of these fines. Those committing the offence time and again are leaving themselves open to arrest and being dealt with by the judicial system.
I would like to reassure the residents of Brookmans Park that I will be continuing the good work of my predecessor and I am looking forward to meeting you all. For non-emergency community issues I will be available on this number - 07736 225 325. I must re-iterate this is a non-emergency number. If I do not answer then please leave a message and I will contact you at the earliest opportunity.

As usual, if you do have an emergency then please call 999. For non-emergency, please calll 0845 33 00222.

Also remember that if you see anything suspicious then you can also report it to both the police and your local neighbourhood watch co­ordinator. If you report such matters on 0845 33 00 222 then ask for a log number and a log will be created and an officer or unit assigned to it. Please bear in mind that you may not necessarily see this officer, or unit, face to face unless you ask to see them when making the report. Sometimes on such things as suspicious incidents an officer will attend on request, but due to circumstances may have to go to another job immediately afterwards.

Once again, I look forward to meeting you when I am on duty in Brookmans Park or Little Heath. Keep up the good work for a safer neighbourhood watch area.

WPC Jo Wakelen


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