Croydon police to use Al Capone tactics to tackle gangs
Police are using tactics inspired by the arrest of Al Capone to drive people out of gangs.
Croydon police, working with the Metropolitan Police’s anti-gang unit Trident, has been cracking down on gangs across the borough by targeting them for low-level offences, including not paying their TV licences.
They have also been working in partnership with organisations including the probation service, Croydon Council and voluntary groups to take people out of gangs.
Figures from six weeks through July and August showed a drop in crimes associated with gangs compared to the six weeks previous.
Street robbery dropped by 27 per cent, serious violence dropped 31 per cent, knife crime dropped 40 per cent and gun crime dropped 55 per cent.
Detective Superintendent Simon Messenger, from Croydon police, said: “The message we are sending to people is if you are in a gang we will target you.
“We may not be able to charge on one crime but, like with Al Capone, we will look at whether they have paid their car insurance, their TV license, anything to make their lives difficult.”
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Champion, from Trident, said: “As part of this we will be offering them a way out at every turn.
“When we pick them up, at the station, during custody, each time we will be explaining the options available to them to take them out of the life they are living.
“It is not just the Met Police who are working on this. Gangs are not a problem that can simply be solved by arrest – by working in partnership with other elements we can give an alternative.”