Tower Hamlets council CCTV used by police to make 70 arrests in 4 weeks

Alerting police to incident in street at council's CCTV centre centre at the Town Hall

Alerting police to incident in street at council's CCTV centre centre at the Town Hall - Credit: TH Cll

Arrests using evidence from council CCTV cameras on the streets of London’s East End shot up to 70 in July alone, latest statistics reveal.

Police are being tipped off by Tower Hamlets camera operators at the Town Hall’s monitoring centre, it has emerged.

The statistics have come to light in the wake of three men who were convicted at the Old Bailey following an armed robbery in which the gang were tracked on camera.

The operators view a bank of screens in ‘real time’ and phone police when they sport something suspicious.

Last month’s 70 ‘proactive’ arrests were the result of operators alerting police to incidents, or officers being directed to a suspect after they hear a call-out on the emergency service radio. The operators use the cameras to identify the suspect, then digital recordings are used as evidence later in court.

The arrests in July ranged from assault and robbery to possessing drugs on the street.

Deputy Mayor Ohid Ahmed said: “The CCTV images of crimes in progress are passed to the police who make the arrests. We can’t make this happen ourselves, but together with the police we bring offenders to justice.”

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Footage was used at the Old Bailey last month in the conviction of three men involved in an armed robbery at the Iqra money transfer firm in Stepney Green last September.

The gang shot a staff member, leaving him seriously wounded. Another two staff members were also injured.

The raiders, one from Stepney Green and two accomplices from north London, were identified after council operators tracked their vehicle immediately after the hold-up. They were jailed for a total of 23 years.

A fourth gang member, the getaway driver, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.