Police in Tower Hamlets have overnight and this morning carried out a series of raids – the third phase of raids this month - as part of an intelligence-led operation to crackdown on the supply of drugs in Whitechapel that was causing violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the area. You can see a video of the work here.
These arrests are part the Borough’s ongoing operation called ‘Continuum’, a partnership operation between police and Tower Hamlets Council.
150 suspected dealers have been charged since the work began.
Today's operation saw 15 search warrants executed at addresses across the borough and in Newham. More than 190 officers from across the Met were involved in the raids.
A quantity of drugs and cash were seized during the operation.
The men, aged between 17 and 40, were arrested for offences in relation to drug supply within Tower Hamlets. All those arrested have been taken into custody across east London, where they remain.
As part of the operation, officers, council and housing staff will be carrying out a wide range of further enforcement activity and visible community reassurance and offering support to residents.
Already this month, days of enforcement action have resulted in over 50 addresses being searched and 31 men being charged with more than 90 offences. In addition, a substantial amount of crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and approximately £40,000 in criminal cash has been seized. Weapons including stun-guns, a crossbow and knives were also recovered.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Hamer, Tower Hamlets Crime, Gangs and Drugs lead, said:
“There will be no let up for drug dealers in Tower Hamlets as Operation Continuum responds to local community concerns regarding drug crime and associated, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We have continued to build on earlier successes to enable us to deliver an equally effective operation today.
“We have also shown by working in partnership with the local council and partners, by sharing information and coordinating our activity using a wide range of criminal and civil powers we can respond so much more effectively to tackle the issues raised by our community.”
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:
“Tower Hamlets is a great place to live, work and visit – but drugs are a big issue across the whole of London.
Residents have told us they are concerned about drugs, and this operation is just one of the ways we are working with the police and partners to take dealers off the streets.
“We’re also providing support after the raids have taken place. Youth workers will provide outreach to young people in the area, our housing team will support homeless people and we will provide substance misuse services to those suffering addiction and longer-term issues.
“We are committed to making our streets safer.”
Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety added:
“Our partnership work maximises our resources and will help to stamp out drug dealing, which is a plague across London.
“Residents have told us where there are hotspots of drug dealing and crime, and that is where we are prioritising our work.”
The council has invested £7.3m in services this year to tackle substance misuse in the borough.
Public Health England estimate that each £1 spent on drug treatment will save £4 on health, housing and social costs.
Anyone with any information about criminality in their area should speak to their local Safer Neighbourhoods policing team or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Posted on Thursday 28th June 2018