May 3, 2011 2.12 pm This story is over 152 months old

Police to ‘grind criminals into submission’

Operation Stronghold: Police hope to stop prolific criminals reoffending by following them everywhere they go, 24-hours.

Lincolnshire Police announced a new initiative to reduce crime, which will see convicts followed by officers everywhere they go, round the clock.

In what’s dubbed Operation Stronghold, prolific criminals will be shadowed by uniformed and plainclothes officers, specials and PCSOs.

There are already three criminals in Lincoln subject to the tactic, police said.

Police say this will happen as soon as the targets step out of their front doors, followed on foot and in marked and unmarked cars.

The convicts are hoped to engage with police and other agencies to resolve the root causes of their offending, whether its alcohol or drug addiction, or just training.

DCI Shaun West is introducing the tactic, which is claimed to have been successful elsewhere in the country.

He said: “We have always known the majority of crime like burglary and theft from cars is carried out by a very small hardcore of criminals in Lincolnshire and it is our intention to wear them down.

“Very few people will feel the heat of this operation as it is reserved for real career criminals.

“At present we are focussing on three in Lincoln and since it was introduced, as expected, burglaries and thefts from cars have fallen.

“The real aim of Operation Stronghold is to grind these criminals into submission. We offer them the support they need to get out of a life of crime – and if they say no – we follow them till they change their minds.”

Inspector Mark Garthwaite is one of the officers supervising teams working on Operation Stronghold in Lincoln.

He said: “These targets are carefully selected so we know we are tackling key offenders who are committing most of the crime in the city.

“We are setting aside resources on a daily basis to ensure we have the staff to follow them over a 24-hour period.

“We will literally shadow them all day, every time they leave their homes.

“This is preventing a huge amount of crime, it’s allowing us to gather intelligence on offenders and we’re also making arrests and detecting crime via these people’s associates.

“We have been trialling the operation for a couple of weeks now and we’ve seen a marked decrease in crime in the city. This is tough action, but it definitely works.”

Source: Lincolnshire Police | Related Reports: BBC Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Echo