New Police chief launches Operation Falcon to clean up Tower Hamlets
16:00 13 June 2012
A series of crackdown operations to clean up neighbourhoods plagued by crime and disorder across London’s East End is being launched by the new Met Police commander for Tower Hamlets.
Chief Supt Dave Stringer has thrown down the gauntlet to street gangs, drug dealers and prostitutes that there will be a ‘zero tolerance’ in his Operation Falcon clean up.
Specific neighbourhoods will be targeted—even tackling unlicensed street trading, litter or shops selling dodgy goods.
“Well be conducting an intensive level of high visibility as well as covert operations over the next few months,” he told the Advertiser.
“Operation Falcon will be intensive police activity around gangs, violent crime and licensing.
“If an area isn’t properly looked after, gangs gravitate towards it.
“If you’re lax on licensing and gaming legislation, gangs see that as an opportunity to make money.”
The police swoops will use “every lawful trick” and won’t just be one day in each area. They will target neighbourhoods for weeks at a time, he warned.
“Brick Lane is an example where we might run a clean-up operation,” Commander Stringer added. “It’s a small area with a lot of licensed premises with associated crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We’ll go in and use all the legislation, tactics and lawful trick at our disposal.
“We’re not just using crime legislation, like fixing broken windows—it’s also about litter, graffiti, fire regulations, making sure businesses are run properly, with no illegal street trading which helps drive anti social behaviour.”
He is meeting community leaders in the next few weeks to gage what they see as their priorities.
“People don’t tell us everything they know that’s going on in their area,” Mr Stringer revealed. “They don’t tell us who’s dealing drugs, hiding weapons. We need to find out much more.”
The new police chief, who took up his post in April, launches Operation Falcon in the first week of July with his 1,000-strong division backed by the Met’s Territorial Support Group and Tower Hamlets council licensing officers.