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
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.