Why do we have Operation Continuum in Tower Hamlets?
Operation Continuum was launched in December 2017 in response to ongoing reports of drug dealing, drug use and associated criminality. Tower Hamlets is estimated to have one of the highest prevalence of Class A drug users in London, and it is believed there is a strong link between violent crime and the supply of Class A and Class B drugs. This is also linked to other risks such as exploitation of young people and vulnerable adults. Operation Continuum was developed as a partnership approach to tackle crime, disorder and violence linked to the street based drug markets. This has enabled the council and partners to use local knowledge, experience and resources to support the Police to disrupt and enforce perpetrators of crime and the anti-social behaviour linked to drug dealing. This has included, using Housing Act legislation and ASB Crime & Policing Act legislation, such as civil injunctions, premises closure notices and Criminal Behaviour Orders.
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 and provide reassurance advice to those residents affected. This has included officers from the Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Partnership Task Force (council funded Police Officers), Tower Hamlets Homes Police Team, CCTV Team, 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, Communications Team and Tower Hamlets Homes 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.
A new series of multi-agency operations led by the council and the police started in December 2019. Continuum Plus targets known people, public places and premises that intelligence suggests are involved in 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.
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.
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.
To date a number of operations have taken place across the borough and we have achieved some very significant results. We continue to commit to conducting these operations nd this reflects in results:
2019 Operation Continuum results
2017-2018 Operation Continuum results
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:
Tower Hamlets Council
- 'We’re disrupting drug dealers by identifying, stopping and searching their cars' - November 11, 2019
- ‘Wake up call for drug dealers’ - May 30, 2019
- ‘Did you see our joint @MPSTowerHam and council van out today?' - May 17, 2019
- 'Drugs sniffer dog George finds another haul of drugs and weighing scales in Mile End' - May 16, 2019
- 'Drugs sniffer dog George leads THEOs to a haul of drugs in Mile End' - May 16, 2019
- '6 months of covert investigations in to drug dealing' - May 16, 2019
- 'Tower Hamlets has been working with MPS Tower Hamlets to crack down on drug dealing' - February 21, 2019
- 'Meet Jonathan from the Weavers Community Action Group' - February 21, 2019 (video)
- 'Our four legged friend, Nell was enthusiastically searching for drugs with our THEOs in areas known for drug stashes' - February 21, 2019 (video)
- 'A series of successful raids this morning with MPS Tower Hamlets' - February 21, 2019 (video)
- 'Drug dealers take a long walk' - February 21, 2019
- 'Rolling crackdown on drug dealing reaches first anniversary' - December 20, 2018
- 'Mayor John Biggs responds to Operation Continuum' - August 25, 2018 (video)
- ‘Operation Continuum strikes again’ - February 8, 2018
- ‘Drugs Raid Operation Continuum launched in Shadwell’ - December 18, 2017 (video)
- ’We launched operation #Continuum in Shadwell’ - December 14, 2017
Tower Hamlets Police
- 'Officers raid Cannabis Cafe in Limehouse' - August 16, 2019 (video)
- ‘4 years 8 months sentencing for Class A drug supply offences and Violent disorder’ - August 1, 2019
- ‘5 search warrants executed in the Stepney area’ - July 11, 2019
- 'Day of action weapon sweeps in partnership with THEOs' - May 16, 2019
- 'Weapon sweep around Mile End Park uncovers drugs hidden in bushes' - May 16, 2019
- 'Gangs Team and Met Taskforce effected 7 warrants this morning' - May 16, 2019
- 'The #OpContinuum work will continue with our partners in Weavers ward' - February 21, 2019
- 'Another day, Another series of raids targeting drug dealers in Weavers ward' - February 21, 2019
- 'DCI Mike Hamer gives an insight into Op Continuum‘ - October 6, 2018
BBC London News
East London Advertiser
- '400 arrests in war on drugs gets public backing for Tower Hamlets joint op with Met Police' - September 3, 2019
- ‘Police seize drugs and £20k in cash during dawn raids in Stepney’ - July 11, 2019
- ‘Police arrest 39 people in raids targeting suspected drug dealers in Bow and Stepney’ - May 31, 2019
- 'Police raids close down drug dens in Bow and Mile End' - May 16, 2019
- 'Operation Continuum war on Bethnal Green's drug dealers' - March 20, 2019
- 'Police using Tower Hamlets CCTV to track dealers in dawn raids' - February 21, 2019
- 'Drugs and 10k cash seized in police raids across Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Havering' - February 14, 2019
- 'Jailed: Six more members of Whitechapel drugs gang' - October 3, 2018
- 'Jailed: Eight more members of Whitechapel drug dealing gang' - August 24, 2018
- ‘Whitechapel drugs gang sentenced to 49 years in prison’ - August 20, 2018
- ‘14 arrested, drugs and cash seized in east London police raids’ - June 27, 2018
- ‘27 arrested in east London drugs raids in Tower Hamlets’ - June 6, 2018
- ‘Drugs raid uncovers cannabis factory on Limehouse housing estate’ - December 14, 2017
Tower Hamlets Homes
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 999
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