Wandsworth Police plan Al Capone tactics to capture persistent criminals
Wandsworth Police will be adopting tactics like those used to capture infamous gangster Al Capone during their winter crackdown on criminals.
The Safer Places operation will see officers targeting 29 prolific individuals who often come into contact with police for burglary, robberies and phone snatches.
A focus is being placed on making neighbourhoods safer during the darker winter nights when there is usually a spike in crime.
The Al Capone approach will see police ramping up checks on offender's TV license payments, car tax and benefits claims in a bid to put persistent criminals behind bars.
Letters are being hand delivered by an inspector and an officer to a list of 29 people on the warning list.
During the personal home visit active criminals will be warned they are on the danger list and offered help to redeem themselves.
The letter states: "We will be focusing all of our resources on disrupting and preventing your criminal activities.
"This will include regularly visiting you at home and stopping and engaging you when you are out and about.
"However, if you choose to change your ways, and actively demonstrate this, then our officers will be able to help and advise you by putting you in touch with people who can assist you with things such as addiction, or even getting you an invite to a job fair."
If criminals do not comply police will begin working with the council, insurance companies and other authorities to ensure they are not breaking the law.
Benefit claims, insurance policies and vehicle conditions will be scrutinised, while a clamping company has agreed to trawl streets and take any cars in breach away.
The police are also asking neighbours to help with the clampdown, with street briefings, leafleting and high visibility patrols
Key dates officers aim to focus on will be end of half term, October 25, Halloween and bonfire night November 5.
Inspector James Ellis, Battersea neighbourhood inspector, said: "We are not just targeting individuals, we are targeting their area and where they live.
"If people rob or steal they are not going to pay their tax disc - they will be looking to do anything they can for benefit of themself."
American gangster Al Capone was finally convicted on federal charges of tax evasion.
The operation launched on October 10 and will run until December 31.