Criminals rounded up in major police operation in Tower Hamlets and Newham

A large group of police officers gather for a meeting at the foot of the Tower of London.

A large group of police officers gather for a meeting at the foot of the Tower of London. - Credit: Archant

Criminals were rounded up in a capital-wide clampdown on offenders, which saw a spate of arrests in Newham and Tower Hamlets for crimes ranging from drugs offences to robbery.

Operation Big Wing, which took place last Wednesday (February 27), involved hundreds of officers from across the Met working together in a blitz on community crime.

Borough officers were joined by specialist colleagues from other departments – such as the dog support unit, police cadets, and armed police - as they carried out high-visibility patrols and used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to catch offenders.

Officers also arrested suspects wanted for crimes including gang involvement and domestic violence.

In Tower Hamlets, officers were briefed throughout the day and met at 7am at Canary Wharf, 10am at Brick Lane, 1pm at Mile End, and 2pm at the Tower of London to receive instructions and evaluate their progress.

Six warrants were issued for Tower Hamlets criminals, but only four arrests were made – for drug offences, assault, theft and robbery.

But a spokesman for the borough’s police pointed out despite the low numbers of offenders arrested, the high-visibility operation resulted in “lots of public reassurance”.

Most Read

In neighbouring borough Newham, two suspects were arrested for drugs offences, and police said they also recovered a stolen motorbike.

Cllr Unmesh Desai, executive member for crime and antisocial behaviour, said the council is committed to working with police to tackle the “criminal minority”.

“Those who are committing offences in Newham are getting the message that not only is there no hiding place but we are relentlessly going after them,” he said. “Ultimately, this is about the choices people make and being a positive member of our community. As we have shown, we are prepared to remove from our community those who refuse to change.”

All 32 London boroughs participated in the police operation and there were more than 200 arrests across the capital.

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe hailed the operation as success and said: “Today should send a clear message - if you’re a criminal all of the Met’s officers and staff are working to catch you.”