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Operation Continuum

Why are we conducting Operation Continuum in Tower Hamlets?

drugs raid house2-1

Operation Continuum was launched in December 2017 in response to ongoing reports of drug dealing, drug use and associated criminality by residents. Tower Hamlets faces high levels of crime, violence and knife crime, and is also estimated to have one of the highest prevalence of opiate and crack users in London. It is believed there is a strong correlation between the violence to the supply of Class A and Class B drugs, which links to other safeguarding risks such as criminal exploitation of young people and vulnerable adults. As a response to these concerns, Mayor John Biggs convened key agencies across the Community Safety Partnership to develop Operation Continuum, an enhanced package of collaborative action to tackle crime, disorder and violence linked to the street based drug markets. The partnership approach for these operations has enabled the Council and partners to use local knowledge, experience and resources to support the Police to disrupt and enforce, using a broader range of powers and interventions to arrest and convict perpetrators of crime and the anti-social behaviour linked to the drugs markets. This has included, using Housing Act legislation and ASB Crime & Policing Act legislation (such as civil injunctions, premises closure notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders) to address the most high risk and entrenched offending.

How does Operation Continuum work?

Following intelligence and information led Police raids, the Council’s Community Safety Team coordinates Council resources and partners to be deployed to the area, conducting highly visible activity in support of the operation and to provide reassurance to those residents affected. The Council activities are maintained for a full week with a focus on providing information, outreach and community reassurance. As these operations have developed, information sharing and appropriate council and police activities have been planned in advance to support the operation. This has included officers from:

  • Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams
  • Partnership Task Force (Council funded Police Officers)
  • Tower Hamlets Homes Police Team
  • CCTV
  • Clean and Green Team
  • Commercial Waste and Enforcement Team
  • Street Population Team
  • Trading Standards
  • Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers
  • Substance Misuse Team (to provide outreach and support)
  • Licensing Officers
  • ASB Investigation Team
  • Community Safety Team
  • Communications Team
  • Tower Hamlets Homes Police and other Housing Providers


Operation Continuum is our collective partnership response to the crime, ASB and violence associated with street based drugs. It represents an enhanced package of measures that compliments robust policing, allowing us to work together to make a bigger, impact and more sustainable difference for our residents.

Operation Continuum is here to stay and we will continue the local partnership operations in 2019, refining our tactics to improve the work we do and to inform the public more effectively.

Action Taken

To date, Operation Continuum has been implemented in Shadwell, Stepney, Bow, Whitechapel, St Peters and Weavers wards. We have achieved some very significant results and continue to commit to conducting these operations borough-wide. Cumulative results since December 2017 to September 2018 include:

  • 104 warrants executed/properties raided, including 4 businesses selling Cannabis
  • 190 total arrests for drug offences and drug supply
  • 91 people charged
  • 44 men sentenced to a combined total of more than 118 years' imprisonment
  • Large quantities of Class A drugs and Cannabis seized
  • £171k in cash seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act
  • 4 firearms recovered during raids
  • 164 drugs stop and searches conducted
  • 399 ASB Warnings issued
  • 25 weapon sweeps conducted
  • 33 weapons recovered from weapon sweeps including knives and other offensive weapons  
  • 93 people arrested, assessed and referred in to drug treatment


The following infographics outline key successes per operation and can be shared for further information:

Post Operations - News and Events

We have been busy working with our partners to ensure Operation Continuum activities and results are shared widely with the public. In case you missed any of these and wanted to see the operations in action, use the links below for further information:


Useful Contacts

The council, police and partners would encourage the public to keep reporting their concerns around drug dealing and drug use. Use this simple guide for further information, and the range of reporting services available below:

  • Call 999: in an emergency, if there is a crime occurring or there is a threat to life

  • Call 101: for ASB, including drug dealing. If drug dealing is happening outside of a school or playground, call 999555

  • Report crime, ASB and drug dealing online to the Police. For drug dealing select ‘Antisocial behaviour’

  • Report ASB associated to drug dealing/drug use online to the council

  • Call Crime Stoppers to report any crime anonymously on 0800 555 111