In response to InLink’s plans to switch free calls back on, Jonathan Moberly of the Weavers Community Action Group and Mayor John Biggs spoke to BBC London News (12 April 2019) to give their views.
The Mayor has highlighted the role residents have played in providing information that led to officers storming 19 addresses in Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Havering and 15 arrests on suspicion of supplying class A drugs. The raids specifically targeted dealers who target the Weavers Ward.
Major John Biggs said: “Residents have worked with us to identify where people are peddling drugs, and their insight has delivered dividends.
“We will continue to use our collective powers to enforce against people dealing drugs and to keep our streets safe. This was another excellent result for the borough.”
DCI Mike Hamer, Tower Hamlets Crime, Gangs and Drugs lead, said: “The public can continue to play a very effective role in helping the police”.
Weavers Community Action Group representative Jonathan Moberly said: “This is a really positive step towards tackling a problem that adversely affects Weavers’ residents daily. It is great to see the police and community’s hard work is bearing fruit and we urge local residents affected by drug dealing on the streets to get in touch to find out how they can get involved”.
This story was reported in the East London Advertiser on 14 February 2019 and can be read in full here.
CTRA’s latest newsletter is out now. Read news about our estates and about recent activity led by the CTRA Committee and other local residents such as:
- Spring bulb planting on our estates
- Recent work of the Weavers Community Action Group (WCAG) on drug-related antisocial behavour
- New bike storage on our estates and how to rent a secure locker
- Plans for our children and youth football training club
- Major works and the Baroness Road Development and how the Committee can support you
- Christmas on the CTRA Community Cart
- A THH planned estates outdoor tidy up
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Gareth Furby, BBC reporter and documentarian has spent time with CTRA residents and members of the Weavers Community Action Group (WCAG) to understand the impact of open drug dealing on our streets for a film piece on BBC’s Inside Out London (aired 14/01/19).
Filmed in late 2018, the piece shows footage of drug deals in progress and highlights work the WCAG has done to draw attention to the problem and organise crowd-sourced evidence gathering for police and other agencies. The film also shows what other Tower Hamlets residents in Wapping are doing to combat ASB in their area.
The film is available here to view in full.
In recent years, British Telecom and its affiliates have been replacing the traditional red phone boxes on our streets with InLink kiosks. These phone kiosks give users free short phone calls and several have been installed on Bethnal Green Road alone. Sadly, however it has been obvious to local residents that drug users and dealers have been using these free calls to coordinate deals and drug drops. This has been backed up by police investigative work.
For some time, the Weavers Community Action Group (WCAG), local police and council have been campaigning for British Telecom to stop these free calls and this week we had some good news. InLink has confirmed that, following suggestions from the council and police, from December 6th 2018 it will no longer be possible to make free phone calls to mobile phones from all of the InLinks in Tower Hamlets.
Further information, including a quote from Cllr John Pierce and WCAG’s Jonathan Moberly about this can be found in an article by Engineering and Technology Magazine.
We see this as a positive step towards tackling the issue however, it should be noted that this is only a trial by BT and WCAG’s recent campaign to halt the plan to move the phone box from Hackney Road to Ravenscroft Street has so far been rejected. There is still much to do.
The CTRA Community Cart probably had its final outing of the year this week as volunteers from the Cart Steering Committee festooned it with tinsel and wheeled it down to Columbia Road for the first of this year’s Christmas Wednesdays.
Locals and passers-by were plied with hot mulled apple juice, mince pies and an opportunity to chat to residents as carol singers sang around the Christmas tree.
We’re starting to feel a little festive now!
The Cart Steering Committee is currently planning activities for Spring 2019 onward, if you would like to get involved by bringing ideas, DIY skills and/or perhaps support at some of our events, please do get in touch by emailing Jenny Dunn.
We have today (23rd November 22018) received a Commencement of Work Notice from Bouygues. Ground works will start on Monday 26 November and continue for 2 weeks. They apologise for any inconvenience.
Further information about the development including contact details for Bouygues can be found on our dedicated page.
Given that we don’t currently have a community centre, the CTRA Cart is an important asset for the community. To ensure that it is properly looked after and utilized in the community the CTRA is looking for local people to join a CTRA Cart Steering Committee.
The role of the Steering Committee will be to:
- Plan and organize events and activities for the community with the cart
- Manage the upkeep of the cart, help plan and/or execute small related making projects to improve or complement the cart such as a roof for the cart or a notice board
- Oversee and facilitate the use of the CTRA Cart by other community groups
This is a fun project about bring our community together and making the most of the outdoor space we have.
Anyone with questions or wishing to join the CTRA Cart Steering Committee should email Jenny Dunn