An extra 21 cops will crackdown on drugs and anti-social bahaviour

An extra 21 police officers will patrol the streets in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and drug offences.

Tower Hamlets Council announced this week it is spending �1.3million on 16 new roles, with an extra five funded by the police.

The move will make Tower Hamlets one of the only London boroughs to see a rise in the number of officers.

The squad – which includes one sergeant and two inspectors – will work alongside Safer Neighbourhood teams and Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officers.

It will be charged with cracking down on touting and prostitution as well as making sure licensing laws, controlled drinking zones and trading standards guidelines are followed.

At the launch of the new initiative with borough commander Paul Rickett on Tuesday, mayor Lutfur Rahman insisted community safety is a “priority”.

The new squad will take a “holistic approach to combating issues around drugs”, he added.

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Residents have told police anti-social behaviour, drugs and community safety are a big concern, Mr Rickett said.

The boost comes, however, at the same time the Metropolitan Police Authority announced Tower Hamlets will lose four police sergeant roles.

As part of London-wide cuts to Safer Neighbourhoods teams, the Met voted on June 30 to get rid of 150 officers across the capital this year.

A further 150 will go next year.

London Assembly Labour member for City and East, John Biggs said the cuts “undermine the reassurance and trust” police have built up in communities in recent years.