Police and Tower Hamlets council using dogs to stop drug dealers

Sniffer dogs have uncovered stashes of crack cocaine and heroin in an operation by police and local authority officers to arrest at least one drug dealer every day in London’s East End.

A combined operation by the Met Police and Tower Hamlets council using dogs has already uncovered illegal stashes after tip-offs from the public about drug-dealing haunts in Shadwell and Stepney Green.

The dogs alerted officers in one sweep on Shadwell’s Solander Gardens Estate to what appeared to be an abandoned car.

The vehicle was searched and a large quantity of crack cocaine, heroin wraps and 10 bags of cannabis were found—as well as a set of scales and other drug-dealing paraphernalia.

A second patrol on the estate uncovered more cannabis in another parked vehicle.

Dog patrols over two days on a Stepney Green housing estate in Stayners Road led to several bags of cannabis being detected which had been hidden—ready for dealing.

Police also found weapons, including a 15ins knife, metal bars and a motorcycle chain with a padlock attached.

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“We will adopt any tactic necessary in our drive to combat drug supply,” said Tower Hamlets Police Borough Commander Dave Stringer.

“These dog patrols aim to disrupt drug dealers’ activities and make life as difficult for them as possible.”

Police and Tower Hamlets council are relying on tip-offs from the public.

The council’s cabinet member responsible for community safety, Ohid Ahmed, said: “The key to success of these patrols is people’s knowledge about where the drug dealing hotspots are. It’s vital that residents report their concerns and feel confident that they are helping us to take on the dealers.”

Police and Town Hall bosses are operating a task force with extra officers paid for out of council tax to tackle the East End’s drug-dealing, street gangs and vice.

The task force is running a ‘Dealer a Day’ programme aimed at arresting 365 drug dealers this year—at least one every day. It urges the public to dial the 101 police non-emergency number to report drug-dealing and misuse.