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400 arrests in war on drugs gets public backing for Tower Hamlets joint op with Met Police

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:35 03 September 2019

Council CCTV used to track drug dealers on the streets of London's East End. Picture: LBTH

Council CCTV used to track drug dealers on the streets of London's East End. Picture: LBTH

LBTH

Almost 400 arrests have been made and 170 East End properties raided in a war on drugs and organised crime, a Tower Hamlets annual survey has confirmed.

Street surveylance by Tower Hamlets Council has helped track drug dealers and led to 400 arrests in 12 months. Picture: Kois Miah/LBTHStreet surveylance by Tower Hamlets Council has helped track drug dealers and led to 400 arrests in 12 months. Picture: Kois Miah/LBTH

The arrests and raids have led to £560,000 in cash seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act in the Met Police Operation Continuum backed by the council's CCTV network, first revealed in the East London Advertiser in May.

Households are now said to be giving the town hall a vote of confidence in the fight against crime and keeping public services going in the face of swinging government cuts, according to this year's annual residents' survey.

It is claiming success in the joint operation with police to root out drug dealing on the streets using its network of cameras to track down traffickers and organised crime which has led to 396 arrests.

Top issues the public is most concerned about are crime and anti-social behaviour, lack of affordable housing and dirty streets, the survey has found.

Mayor John Biggs... Mayor John Biggs... "We've put money into priority of tackling organised crime." Picture: Mike Brooke

"We have put money into areas that residents tell us are priority," mayor John Biggs said. "This includes tackling crime as well as building much-needed affordable homes."

Families "are generally more satisfied" with services compared other local authorities across the country. The survey records 61 per cent of households believe their concerns are being heard, against 58pc national average, while 69pc say they trust the council compared to 60 per cent elsewhere.

But cash is running thin to keep services going, the mayor warns.

"Continued austerity means government funding cuts of £148million since 2010," he said. "This means a 64pc reduction in real terms."

Public concerns about dirty streets and poor rubbish collections have also led the council to bring cleansing back under direct control by next year.

This includes new 'smart bins' that compact waste and send out alerts when they're full, which are being installed at Whitechapel Market and Watney Market in Shadwell.

But the East End is still railing against overheated population expansion with an estimated 30,000 more households to cater for by 2028, pushing property prices up while 20,000 families are still on the housing waiting list for homes.

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