Fourteen men have been arrested following dawn raids in a crackdown on drugs related crime in East London.
More than 190 officers from across the Met searched 15 addresses during the raids on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, seizing quanities of drugs and cash.
This was the third phase of raids this month against the supply of drugs, mainly in the Whitechapel area, which the police said was causing violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour in the area. The operation, which has been called ‘Operation Continuum’ is a partnership between Scotland Yard and Tower Hamlets Council.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Hamer, the crime, gangs and drugs lead for Tower Hamlets, said: “There will be no let up for drug dealers in Tower Hamlets as Operation Continuum responds to local community concerns regarding drug crime and associated, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.”
“We have continued to build on earlier successes to enable us to deliver an equally effective operation today.”
“We have also shown by working in partnership with the local council and partners, by sharing information and coordinating our activity using a wide range of criminal and civil powers we can respond so much more effectively to tackle the issues raised by our community.”
The men, aged between 17 and 40, have been taken into custody across East London, where they remain.
They were arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences relating to drug supply within Whitechapel.
Already this month, more than 50 addresses have been searched in relation to the supply of drugs, resulting in 31 men being charged with more than 90 offences. Police seized stun guns, a crossbow and knives as well as a substantial amount of crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and approximately £40,000 in criminal cash.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Tower Hamlets is a great place to live, work and visit – but drugs are a big issue across the whole of London.“
“Residents have told us they are concerned about drugs, and this operation is just one of the ways we are working with the police and partners to take dealers off the streets.”
“We’re also providing support after the raids have taken place. Youth workers will provide outreach to young people in the area, our housing team will support homeless people and we will provide substance misuse services to those suffering addiction and longer-term issues.”
Further enforcement activities, visible community reassurance and support to residents will be carried out by officers, council and housing staff as part of the ongoing operation.
Tower Hamlets Council has invested more than £7 million in services this year to tackle substance misuse in the borough.