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Police net £20,000 drugs and cash and arrest 17 suspects in Tower Hamlets’ Operation Continuum

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 27 May 2020

Nabbed! 17 suspects arrested in Operation Continuum targetting drug gangs on streets of the East End. Picture: Met Police

Nabbed! 17 suspects arrested in Operation Continuum targetting drug gangs on streets of the East End. Picture: Met Police

MPS

Police have arrested 17 people in the East End in a day of action for Operation Continuum today aimed at organised drug gangs in the streets during the lockdown.

Evidence... drugs found in a suspect car in a previous 'Operation Continuum' sweep at Bethnal Green in 2019. Picture: Met PoliceEvidence... drugs found in a suspect car in a previous 'Operation Continuum' sweep at Bethnal Green in 2019. Picture: Met Police

Around £20,000 in cash and what are believed to be Class A drugs and cannabis were found.

They pulled in 13 men and one woman today on suspicion of drugs offences, while another three men were arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace, possession with intent to supply cannabis and Class A drugs. All are in custody in east London.

“Criminals seem to think that they can continue to peddle drugs even during the Covid public health crisis,” Det Insp Sean Lyons said.

“We have been out again to make arrests and confiscate drugs and any ill-gotten gains to prove them wrong and we’ll keep making arrests as long as they believe they can get away with breaking the law.”

CCTV monitoring centre on Isle of Dogs used to track suspect drug gang activity. Picture: LBTHCCTV monitoring centre on Isle of Dogs used to track suspect drug gang activity. Picture: LBTH

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Today’s arrests were mostly in the East End, plus one in Essex at Grays, near Tilbury.

The Met’s Central East command covering Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney has been running Operation Continuum for two years.

It uses CCTV cameras monitored at Tower Hamlets Council’s camera control centre on the Isle of Dogs to track suspicious vehicles seen appearing to be used for street drug deals.

Police patrols on streets of east London targetting drug gangs operating during emergency lockdown. Picture: Met PolicePolice patrols on streets of east London targetting drug gangs operating during emergency lockdown. Picture: Met Police

Operation Continuum was originally established to crack down on drug dealing and make neighbourhoods safer, in a police partnership with the local authority and housing associations.

Mayor John Biggs said: “We’ve seen a reduction in crime during lockdown, but some individuals are intent on breaking the law and continue to blight our community with drug dealing. So we’ll continue working with police to disrupt drug markets.”

All arrests so far this year have been made by officers in the Met’s east London command, the taskforce command and a gangs taskforce.

Police are appealing to the public to report any drug dealing by dialling 101, tweeting @MetCC, or anonymously calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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