Arrests as police step up drugs raids

Met Police raid a property as part of Operation Continuum

Operation Continuum raided another 16 addresses in east London - Credit: Met Police

More arrests have been made in drug raids in east London as part of the Met’s Operation Continuum which has already caught 129 people in the 12 months since the Covid emergency began. 

The raids were carried out across the Met’s East Central command covering Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney on March 3. 

Stock picture of a police car

Police swoop on suspected drug dealers to disrupt illicit trade linked to violent crime - Credit: Met Police

Officers seized £13,000 in cash in one raid and wraps of suspected Class A drugs from four other addresses. 

The latest raids led to 16 people aged 18 to 53 being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. They have been held in custody, Scotland Yard has confirmed. 

Metropolitan Police officers

Operation Continuum has so far led to 12 people jailed for a total of 22 years - Credit: Met Police

The Met has been running Operation Continuum since 2019 to target drug dealers and the links to violent crime. It was stepped up during the Covid emergency. 

“Operation Continuum is here to stay,” Det Supt Mike Hamer warned. “It has a disruptive effect on the drug dealers with arrests, convictions, and seizures of drugs and cash. 

“Drugs are linked to violent crime and we’ll continue targeting perpetrators to bring them to justice.”  

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The operation so far has led to 12 people being jailed for a total of 22 years with others still awaiting sentencing due to Covid-19 court delays. 

CCTV being used to track drug dealing on east London streets 

CCTV used to track drug dealing on east London streets - Credit: LBTH

The operation was originally started at Bethnal Green in 2019 in a joint operation with Tower Hamlets Council and East End housing associations to crack down on drug dealing that has plagued housing estates, first revealed in the East London Advertiser

The council’s network of CCTV cameras was used to track  vehicles being used for drug-dealing on the streets. 

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs said this week: “Our partnership with police has seen results over the last year and these latest raids show the progress we’re making in getting drug dealers off our streets. 

"We continue working with police to disrupt drug markets and target those breaking the law.” 

Operation Continuum has involved 1,600 police officers, including back-up from the Met’s Taskforce Command and local Gangs Taskforce. 

More than 100 search warrants have been served since March last year, which led to 145 arrests for drug offences.