Police use Christmas cards to tackle anti-social behaviour

Pic: The Metropolitan Police

Police in Tower Hamlets are tackling anti-social behaviour by sending out stern warnings in Christmas cards over the holiday period.

Young people identified as potentially likely to exhibit anti-social behaviour have been sent cards labeled with a statement in bold red explaining that there is a mandatory prison term associated with carrying a knife.

The cards are also accompanied by a more serious letter outlining the exact minimum sentences for possessing knives and engaging in gang activity and other criminal acts.

The Christmas card scheme is the brainchild of Carolyn Gustavina, part of the Tower Hamlets Gang Unit. She told Eastlondonlines: “This is part of an ongoing project to find ways to target anti-social behaviour in the community.”

The cards, sent out on Tuesday, also list a helpline number for young people seeking to distance themselves from gang activity.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Warnett said “This is no more than a means of crime prevention by targeting suspects rather than victims. There is a clear warning but also offers of help to those who wish to break the cycle of crime and anti-social behaviour. We have a duty to the public to take a tough approach.”

Christmas letter full text:

Tower Hamlets Police are looking to ensure that this holiday period is one of peace and celebration for all sections of the community.

As such we are contacting people like yourself, who we believe MAY be involved in Anti-Social/Gang activity on the borough.

It needs to be made clear that these kinds of activities will not be tolerated, and anyone suspected of committing offences will be targeted.

We would also like to make you aware of the new offence of aggravated knife possession.

If you are aged 18 or over and threaten another with a knife you will serve a mandatory sentence of a minimum six months in prison. If you are aged between 16 and 18 you will be served a four month detention and training order.
 If you no longer want to be part of a gang or criminal activity we will help you. We work together with other agencies and can offer you:

• Ways out

• Training and education

• Employment opportunities

If you wish to speak to us please contact us, either by telephone, 08:00-16:00, Monday-Friday, or discreetly by email. 


Tower Hamlets Gangs


0208 2174 100

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