Police and Wandsworth Council have joined forces to crack down on truancy in the borough's schools.

Children missing school without acceptable reasons are to be targeted after the half-term break in the latest attempt to deal with the problem.

Police officers will join staff from the council's education welfare service in carrying out a series of truancy sweeps across the borough to make sure that children are in school when they should be.

Parents of all children who do not have a valid reason for missing lessons will be questioned before being taken to their schools.

People who fail to send their children to school regularly can be fined up to £2,500 each, and in some circumstances they could even be sent to prison.

Wandsworth's cabinet member for education Councillor Kathy Tracey said: "As well as disrupting their education, children who 'bunk off' school are much more likely to become victims of crime or become involved in criminal activities themselves."

Parents or pupils who would like advice should contact the council's education welfare service on 020 8871 8306.