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.
In December 2019, a new series of multi-agency operations called Continuum Plus was set up to target known people, public places and premises that intelligence suggests are involved in ASB, drugs and organised crime gangs. It also helps to support vulnerable people such as the homeless and those with substance misuse issues, with outreach teams on the ground to offer support. These visible, high-impact operations provide reassurance to residents and businesses around community safety and show a commitment to tackling these crimes 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, which is reflected in the results:
2021 Operation Continuum results
2020 Operation Continuum 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
Tower Hamlets Police
BBC London News
East London Advertiser
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