Success for task force as ‘Al Capone’ tactics used


Thanks to the incredible hard work and dedication of three local police officers, crime in South Hornchurch has now taken a down turn.

PC Dean Smith, PC Craig Blackwood and PS Ian Bargus are the Safer Neighbourhood team for the area, and a team who embrace the spirit of what safer neighbourhood policing is all about.

The officers are advocates of using a ‘multi agency’ approach to tackling issues occurring everyday and frequently use partner authorities and agencies to deal with these aspects of crime.

With the Met Commissioner talking about using ‘Al Capone’ tactics in tackling violent crime across the capital, this south Hornchurch team are already a step ahead of her and have been using this style of policing when targeting burglaries in their area.
The team tackle prolific burglary individuals for any offences they may be committing, not just the burglary but also benefit fraud, rent arrears and anti social behaviour.


The Safer Neighbourhood team use a daily predictive mapping to monitor and guide their high visibility patrols in hotspot areas and their presence on the streets has significantly impacted the reduction of burglaries in the area.

Offenders now know that the ward is regularly patrolled and this has served as a deterrent to ‘wannabe’ criminals.

Two of the officers, PC Smith and PC Blackwood also go on plain clothes patrol which allows them to see any possible suspicious behaviour more clearly and enable them to do more intelligence lead, stop and searches.

The officers recently brought to justice a known ‘priority’ offender with a history of multiple offences including burglary, aggravated burglary, robbery and drug offences.

This offender received a conviction for multiple offences of burglary on the ward, then was due to be released back to his home in south Hornchurch, only to re-offend again. After further convictions of burglary, it was clear to the team that further action needed to be taken to remove the offender from the ward to make it a safer community.

By working with Clarion Housing Officers, PC Smith and PC Blackwood looked into the powers of mandatory possession of property and offences under the Housing Act and used their ‘Al Capone’ methods to target the suspect’s address for housing offences and secure an eviction to remove the offender from the south Hornchurch ward.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here