New multi-agency operation clamps down on crime and antisocial behaviour in Whitechapel

Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers around Whitechapel market

Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers around Whitechapel market

An afternoon of enforcement kicked off a new series of multi-agency operations led by Tower Hamlets Council and the police.

Continuum Plus targets known people, public places and premises that intelligence suggests are involved in anti-social behaviour (ASB), drugs and organised crime gangs. It also provides support to vulnerable people such as the homeless and people with substance misuse issues, with operational teams on the ground to offer outreach support.

The operation took place last week (Thursday 19 December) in and around Whitechapel and saw:

  • 25 ASB warnings issued and five community protection warnings for ASB relating to drugs
  • 32 counterfeit mobile devices seized from a market stall and a shop
  • Over £20k counterfeit phones and accessories seized from a shop
  • Three fixed penalty notices issued for unlicensed street trading
  • One shop found to be selling alcohol without a licence
  • Three individuals referred to the council’s drug intervention programme
  • Five vulnerable homeless people offered outreach support
  • Alcohol and cannabis recovered from vulnerable individuals
  • 17 parking tickets issued
  • Four fixed penalty notices for unlawful disposal of waste

These visible, high-impact operations provide reassurance to residents and businesses around community safety and show a commitment to tackling issues locally and taking a zero tolerance approach to crime in the borough.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We know crime and anti-social behaviour is the number one concern among our residents. Through these operations we send a clear message to those involved in criminality and anti-social behaviour – we will work with partners and use all our powers to crackdown on crime.

“I am committed to making Tower Hamlets a safer borough and we will continue to conduct operations targeting people intent on breaking the law.”

It is the first time services from across the council have come together with external partners to take action in a coordinated operation. Continuum Plus was born from the successful Operation Continuum, which works to disrupt the drugs trade.

Since the beginning of the year Operation Continuum has led to 234 arrests and large quantities of Class A and Class B drugs seized, along with £686k under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Partners involved in the operation included the London Fire Brigade, Immigration Services, St. Mungo’s, Metropolitan Police and Tower Hamlets Homes.

Councillor Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor for Community Safety and Equalities, said: “Our residents reported that crime and anti-social behaviour was taking place in Whitechapel and I am pleased to see we have taken action against some of those perpetrators. Working with our community safety partners and our council funded police officers, we will continue to remove offenders from our streets and make a difference.’’

Chief Inspector Dominic Barnes, from the Metropolitan Police said: “This operation was about bringing stakeholders together to tackle frontline community concerns as one large partnership team. Working in this way shows the public that we take these matters seriously and will do everything we can to provide a safe environment for those we serve.”     

The council and police will work together to organise more Continuum Plus operations with partners, targeting locations where reports of criminality are highest.

Posted on Tuesday 24th December 2019