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Police arrest five suspects in drugs operations using Tower Hamlets Council CCTV street cameras

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 May 2019

More drugs arrests using Tower Hamlets Council’s CCTV camera network. Picture: LBTH

More drugs arrests using Tower Hamlets Council's CCTV camera network. Picture: LBTH

LBTH

Police have carried out more drugs operations using Tower Hamlets Council's CCTV network of cameras in an ongoing war on street dealers.

CCTV captures three incidents in just 48 hours in Spitalfields and Whitechapel. Picture: LBTHCCTV captures three incidents in just 48 hours in Spitalfields and Whitechapel. Picture: LBTH

Staff at the council's monitoring centre on the Isle of Dogs alerted police to three cars which were spotted being involved in suspected drug deals at the weekend, it has emerged.

All three incidents were within just 24 hours of each other and all in and around Spitalfields and Whitechapel, areas plagued by drug dealing on the streets, with two separate operations carried out on Saturday alone.

"The cameras are responsible for two arrests each day on average," an officer involved in the operations told the East London Advertiser.

"The control centre operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is also used for back-up and evidence on a continual basis."

Gauntlet thrown down by police and local authority in war on street drug dealers. Picture: Kois MiahGauntlet thrown down by police and local authority in war on street drug dealers. Picture: Kois Miah

The monitoring staff spotted a silver Mercedes at 4pm on Saturday suspected to be dealing drugs in Spital Street, which then drove towards Commercial Street, turned back into Hanbury Street and stopped in Casson Street where a second deal was said to have been witnessed.

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The car then headed towards Vallance Road where a third deal was believed to be witnessed before it drove onto Whitechapel Road, when a passenger was seen getting out and hurrying to the A&E at the Royal London Hospital.

The vehicle was stopped and officers detained a man and seized a quantity of cash. Three people were arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs.

Cameras lead to average two arrests a day with control centre operating round-the-clock 365 days a year. Picture: LBTHCameras lead to average two arrests a day with control centre operating round-the-clock 365 days a year. Picture: LBTH

Camera monitors three hours earlier had spotted a Peugeot apparently 'dealing' in Lomas Street. The description was circulated and police caught up with it heading towards Whitechapel Road where it was stopped opposite Booth House. One man was arrested for "breaching bail conditions".

The arrests follow an operation 24 hours earlier when CCTV staff spotted a blue Ford suspected of drug dealing. The car was followed towards Commercial Street where a suspect drug user was seen running up to it in Lamb street, opposite Spitalfields Market.

Police followed it to Fieldgate Street, off Whitechapel Road—where it sped away. The vehicle was eventually stopped by traffic police in Backchurch Lane where the driver was arrested after failing a roadside drugs test.

Police carried out two similar arrests in January using the council's CCTV monitoring.

Staff spotted a car in Bethnal Green Road that had been "known for drug dealing" back in October. The vehicle had 11 outstanding parking tickets and was also "of interest to bailiffs" and was taken to the car pound. A second car was spotted in a suspected drugs deal which was stopped in Valance Road, where two people were arrested and the vehicle seized.

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