New Chief Inspector Fights To Keep Crime Down

26 April 2011, 11:34 | Updated: 26 April 2011, 11:40

Keeping crime and anti-social behaviour down and dealing with neighbourhood issues in Welwyn Hatfield will be managed by the new Chief Inspector for Welwyn Hatfield - Fiona Gaskell.

Fiona took over the post from Chief Inspector Dave Newsome, who is now working in Broxbourne, at the beginning of this month. She is responsible for the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Intervention officers (who respond to 999 calls) in both towns and the surrounding villages.

She said:  “I have met councillors, businesses and local organisations and made myself known across the area. I plan to build on the excellent work done by Dave (Newsome),” said Fiona, who has 23 years’ service with the Force.

“I want my Neighbourhood Officers out in the communities they serve dealing with local issues, from speeding to anti-social behaviour.  I also want to make sure all members of the community can get in touch with the police.  We have a fantastic working relationship with the University and I want to make sure students and young people can reach us.  I will be exploring social media opportunities to get crime prevention messages out to them.”

She said: “Neighbourhood policing is about looking out for each other and being a responsible neighbour.  Each area has a dedicated Neighbourhood officer and PCSO who work on specific priorities influenced by local residents – this is your opportunity to let us know your concerns by coming along to our regular police surgeries or speaking to your local officer in person. Make the most of these opportunities to help contribute to making your neighbourhood safer.

It is only by working with our partner agencies and members of the public that we can really tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and make Welwyn Hatfield a safer and better place to live and work.”

Fiona was posted to North Herts in 1988 before becoming a Detective Constable working in child protection and dealing with domestic violence.  She was promoted to Detective Sergeant leading the child protection detectives before joining the Professional Standards department as a Detective Inspector.

In 2005, she was promoted to Detective Chief Inspector for Serious and Organised Crime (known then as Major Crime Specialist Investigations) and then did a similar role as the Chief Inspector for Stevenage for three years.  She is also a Firearms Incident Commander.

Fiona joins Welwyn Hatfield at a time when there have been significant reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour.  All crime between April 1, 2011 and April 19, 2011, is down 8.7 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.  Burglaries are down 34 per cent during the same period and anti-social behaviour is down 14.9 per cent.

She added: “But I want to make sure that we can maintain these reductions.  Now the summer is finally here, we do not want to see an increase in burglaries.  You can help prevent opportunist burglaries by remembering to lock all your windows and doors when you go out or are out in the garden.  It only takes a moment – and could save you a lot of upset.”

You can email Fiona on or call her on 01707 806904.