Police raids close down drug dens in Bow and Mile End with 33 arrests plus evictions
PUBLISHED: 10:38 16 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 17 May 2019
Police raids have been carried out in east London this-morning to close down illicit drug dens around Mile End and Bow.
The raids by the Met's Gang Crime unit based in Bethnal Green involved Tower Hamlets Council bailiffs who were brought in to evict drug dealers holed up on housing estates where they push their illicit trade.
Arrests total 33 so far in the second day of the operation with many currently in police custody who could be facing drug charges as well as council eviction notices.
A further eight warrants have been used, targeting gang members who police say are involved supplying drugs, with more arrests likely during the day.
"This is Operation Continuum targeting locations to stop drugs, violence and anti-social behaviour," Det Insp Sean Drislane said. "We have been working with the local authority and housing associations on estates to identify and disrupt those involved in crime."
Neighbourhood police teams and local authority support officers are also touring the streets today and tomorrow in Mile End and Bow informing the public about the operation to combat drugs and violent crime as part of the Met's Operation Continuum.
It began with leaflets explaining why the raids were taking place being distributed to households in Eric Street, Mile End, reassuring the public that action was being taken.
A town hall spokesman told the East London Advertiser: "This was a joint operation with police to close down drug dens because neighbours are worried about criminals operating in their streets.
"There are too many drug-dealers coming into the East End which we are not tolerating."
Areas involved in this-morning's raids between 4am and 7am includes Mile End, Bow, Bromley-by-Bow and parts of Stepney and Bethnal Green.
Officers served 16 search warrants and made 33 arrests, while seizing £3,000 "criminal cash" as well as crack, heroin, cannabis and a number of knives.
They continue their "war on drugs and knife crime" with a weapons 'sweep' tomorrow, backed up by council support officers.
Parks, wasteland and housing estates are being searched for hidden weapons that have been stashed away by gangs to avoid being caught with them if they're stopped and searched in the street.