Thirty people have been arrested, 84 ASBOs issued and five vehicles have been seized in a drugs crackdown by Metropolitan Police and Tower Hamlets council. More than £28,000 worth of cash has also been seized.
Over the past 10 weeks, the police, Tower Hamlets Homes and the council have collaborated using covert surveillance and police intelligence to identify suspected drug dealers in an operation codenamed ‘Operation Continuum’. They have conducted a number of dawn raids across the borough, with four taking place in Shadwell this week.
We launched operation #Continuum in Shadwell with @MPSTowerHam and @THHomes to crack down on #drug dealing. It’s ongoing across the borough – watch this space. #crime #drugdealing 👮🚨 pic.twitter.com/nVIFjvZt9H
— Tower Hamlets (@TowerHamletsNow) December 14, 2017
Detective Superintendant Mark Broom, ofTower Hamlets police, said:
“We are partnering with Tower Hamlets Council and landlords to catch drug dealers, support our communities and create a safer environment for everyone.
“Residents have told us they want a zero tolerance approach to drug dealing and that is what we are doing. Drug dealers in Tower Hamlets should know that Operation Continuum is coming after you.”
In addition to arrests, the police have seized a large quantity of drugs, on one occasion finding 68 cannabis plants being grown in a premises, after a resident’s tip-off.
— Tower Hamlets MPS (@MPSTowerHam) December 14, 2017
In a bid to deal with some of the broader issues related to drug dealing, the next stage of the initiative will focus on supporting vulnerable young people, and other vulnerable groups such as those experiencing homelessness and addiction problems. There will also be a focus on supporting residents who have been affected by the related antisocial behaviour.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, said: “By working with the police we can use our combined powers to better address this problem. As Mayor I am committed to tackling this.
“Residents are at the heart of our approach. That is why Tower Hamlets Council will have a mobile unit here for the next seven days to support them. Our work will include youth workers, helping homeless people and those suffering addiction and longer-term issues as well as making physical changes to our streets to make them safer.”