Worst criminals are in our sights vow

Police say the worst criminals are in their sights
Police say the worst criminals are in their sights
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A CRACK team of specially-selected police officers has been set up to target the city’s most prolific offenders.

The 10-strong team is concentrating on repeat offenders trapped in a cycle of committing crimes, including burglaries, robberies and the theft of, and from, vehicles.

The specialist police team, launched two weeks ago, has a list of offenders to monitor - focusing on those who refuse to comply with conditions set by courts or where there is information to suggest they are continuing to commit crimes.

Detective Inspector Bob Chapman, who is in charge of the team, said in the first two weeks alone 10 arrests were made, three people were sent back to prison and six homes were raided by officers looking for evidence of criminality.

He added: “This relatively small pool of people are committing a large amount of crime.

“This is a joint initiative between the police and probation service where our message to offenders is ‘let us steer you away from crime by getting off drugs, turning up for all the appointments you are given and engaging with us’ If you don’t you can expect us to concentrate on you’.

“We are gathering intelligence and monitoring such people all the time - both openly and, where appropriate, covertly.

“Sometimes the work we do will involve street interventions and regular home visits to enforce conditions such as curfews and police operations - basically everything we can to prevent them committing further offences.”

He said the offenders being targeted have the worst records because they refuse to give up their lives of crime.

He added: “We are trying to break the cycle by working with the probation service and initially trying to encourage offenders to comply with the conditions of their sentences and releases from prison.

“The team is out every day monitoring prolific offenders and working to ensure that there are less victims of crime.

“We are determined to make this work and to see crime fall in the city. We do welcome any information at all from members of the public on those people they know are repeatedly committing crimes.”

Call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2202020 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.