High visibility police patrols set up across east London to 'reassure public' during festive period
PUBLISHED: 10:01 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:14 23 December 2019
Police have been operating high visibility patrols across east London to promote "public reassurance" in the war on drug dealers and anti-social behaviour.
Officers in high visibility jackets were out in force at the weekend on the streets of the Met's Central East Command area, covering Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney.
"The purpose of this step-up deployment is to promote a visible policing presence during the festive period," Chief Insp Dominic Barnes said. "We are also deploying officers from the Territorial Support Group and other external units with the aim of keeping the public safe."
The extra units are working with neighbourhood officers aimed at "managing any incidents" that need a fast-time response.
Fast response units were set up when the Tower Hamlets and Hackney police divisions were merged last year into the Met's new East Central Command, with the new borough commander Marcus Barnett pledging to continue the fight against street gangs and knife crime by stepping up stop-and-search brought in two years ago.
Police have also been stepping up the war on drug dealing using Tower Hamlets Council's CCTV street cameras monitored at the Isle of Dogs centre to track cars being used for dealing on the streets.
Almost 400 arrests had been made and 170 properties raided in the 12 months to the end of August, the Tower Hamlets annual survey confirmed.
These led to £560,000 cash being seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the Met's Operation Continuum, first revealed in the East London Advertiser in May.
Much of the funding for Operation Continuum and for 39 extra patrol officers comes from town hall coffers.
Mayor John Biggs said at the time: "We have put money into areas that residents tell us are priority, which includes tackling crime and anti-social behaviour."
The biggest single operation was in February when police arrested 56 suspects in dawn raids on those concerned in drug running, with 25 addresses searched and 18 people charged with conspiracy to supply.
Operation Continuum has resulted in the latest high visibility street patrols to give public reassurance during the festive season leading into the New Year.