Police using Tower Hamlets CCTV to track dealers in dawn drug raids
PUBLISHED: 19:22 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 19:22 21 February 2019
Dawn raids have been carried out across east London by police using Tower Hamlets Council's CCTV network to pinpoint illicit street deals and track dealers' cars.
The Met’s Operation Continuum involves the council which is even snatching dealers’ cars if they have unpaid parking fines.
Eagle eyed CCTV council officers working round the clock have been identifying drug dealing activity and alerted police.
Dealers now often return to find their fast cars have been slowly lifted and taken to the council’s car pound near Limehouse.
Three cars were stopped by police this week alone and one was removed to the pound in the latest round dawn raids, with 56 suspects having their collar felt.
Officers served 25 warrants at addresses across Tower Hamlets, neighbouring Hackney and as far out as Havering, based on tip-offs from the public and intelligence gathered in the community, which led to 18 suspects being charged with conspiracy to supply. Officers also seized Class A drugs and £10,000 in cash in one raid.
“This is the culmination of four months of covert police activity,” Det Chief Insp Mike Hamer said. “We’ve targeted dealers mainly around Bethnal Green.
“Drug dealing is linked to violent crime on our streets—we’ll deal robustly with those who peddle drugs, exploit young people and target the vulnerable for the sole purpose of financial gain, often leading to violence and placing young people at risk of harm and criminalisation.”
The council now offers additional support to the raids with its enforcement officers being used to pinpoint where drug dealing is taking place on the streets.
Drug pushers also run the risk of being served with notices to quit if they rent property in an agreement the council has with landlords if the raids uncover evidence of drug activity.
Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs warned: “We’ll use our powers to clamp down on criminal activity to get drug dealers off our streets.’’
The council’s CCTV network is one of the biggest in London being used by police to get evidence that is securing up to three arrests a day. +++