Operation Falcon takes off—putting Brick Lane drug gangs to flight

Eighteen people have been arrested in a three-day police swoop targeting drugs in London’s East End.

Police have begun ‘Operation Falcon’ to clean up high crime areas ahead of the Olympics.

The ongoing operation was first revealed by the Advertiser last month when details were given by the new Tower Hamlets borough commander, Dave Stringer.

Extra officers were drafted in for the first phase, three days of raids aimed at reducing crime and disorder in Brick Lane and restoring public confidence.

“A good amount of drugs have been recovered and seized,” said Chief Supt Stringer. “Operation Falcon will continue landing in new areas each time to make people feel safer.”

Seven early-morning raids were carried out on the fist day, when seven arrests were made for alleged drug offences and possessing counterfeit money and fraudulent articles.

Officers on the second day raided an address off Brick Lane where 60 wraps of class A drugs, a quantity of cannabis and drugs paraphernalia were discovered, according to police sources. A woman and two men were arrested for possessing class A and B drugs.

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It followed tip-offs to the Met’s Whitechapel town centre and Neighbourhood teams.

A raid on commercial premises on the third day was carried out in Whitechapel Road where more drugs were found—eight people were arrested.

One of those arrested, Kaman Jaouhari, 35, from Redchurch Street in Bethnal Green, was later charged with possessing class A and B drugs and is due at Thames Magistrates’ Court on September 4.

Operation Falcon is using “every lawful trick in the book”, Chief Supt Stringer warns. It is also targeting lax licensing, illicit gambling and illegal street trading which the borough commander says attracts gangs who see run-down areas as a chance to make money. Brick Lane has been notorious for drunkenness, prostitution and drug peddling.