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Operation Continuum strikes again

Dawn raid marks the start of eight days of action including community support

Tower Hamlets Council and Tower Hamlets Police yesterday launched their second drug operation as part of Operation Continuum.

Seven dawn raids took place in Stepney, nine people were arrested, bags of money, stolen property and Class A & B drugs were seized by police officers.

The arrests today were followed up by a weapons sweep in the area involving several members of the local community.

These results build upon other successes since 25th January in Stepney and bring the total number of arrests to 17. Tower Hamlets Police together key partners, including Tower Hamlets Homes, have been using intelligence and covert surveillance to target suspected drug dealers resulting in the confiscation of £27,000 in cash, recovery of a handgun and issue of 22 anti-social behaviour warnings.

The enforcement phase of Operation Continuum in Stepney continues and these results are expected to rise

In December, the first Operation Continuum operation in Shadwell resulted in 123 ASB warnings, 20k cash seized, 3 arrests a day from intelligence provided by the council’s CCTV, 56 people were given help to address substance misuse issues.

Operation Continuum also involves the Council providing visible community reassurance and support to residents. Over the next eight days, this will include working with residents to follow up reports of antisocial behaviour; youth workers on hand to support young people with free activities to take part in; providing support for any vulnerable people identified as homeless or those needing treatment for addiction; and the council’s Clean and Green Team will be cleaning up graffiti.

DCI Mike Hamer of Tower Hamlets Police said:

“Operation Continuum is a response to local community concern regarding drug crime and anti-social behaviour. We are building on the success of our last joint operation in Shadwell to deliver an equally effective operation in Stepney and already have results that demonstrate this.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“We are determined to tackle drug dealing and the problems it causes our communities. We have listened to our residents and we are working with the police and other partners to share intelligence for these raids.

“Residents are at the heart of our approach. That is why Tower Hamlets Council will have frontline workers in the area over the next week to support our young people with positive activities to do, helping anyone that is homeless or suffering from drug addiction.

“We will also be working with residents to make physical changes to these neighbourhoods to discourage crime and make our streets safer.”

Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety added:

“Our partnership work maximises our resources and will help to stamp out drug dealing. Residents have told us where there are hotspots of drug dealing and crime, and we know that through partnership work with the police and responsible landlords such as Tower Hamlets Homes we can be Safer Together.”