The number of murders across the UK last year fell to 650 from 774 in 2018. Police attribute this to a 32% rise in stop-and-search checks. Merseyside, Manchester and the West Midlands saw big falls in the number of murders. Sadly they increased in London to 149, up from 137 in 2018.
Crime in Tower Hamlets
The local police in Tower Hamlets have been working on the problem, running new multi-agency operations which swamp an area with police. A few months ago I was surprised to see Clinton Road, which leads to the Arts Pavilion, full of police cars. They appeared to be pulling in suspicious vehicles spotted heading north across the lights at Mile End.
In December just before Christmas I emerged from Whitechapel Station to find the pavements full of police patrols. I now read that this was part of Operation Continuum Plus. The police say: “On Thursday 19 December, Continuum Plus targeted known people, public places and premises that intelligence suggested were involved in anti-social behaviour (ASB), drugs and organised crime gangs in and around Whitechapel. It also provided support to vulnerable people such as the homeless and people with substance misuse issues, with operational teams on the ground to offer outreach support.”
Shalina Akhtar, the local Community Safety Commissioning Officer, said the results of the Whitechapel operation on 19th December included:
- 25 ASB warnings issued and five community protection warnings for ASB relating to drugs
- 32 counterfeit mobile devices seized from a market stall and a shop
- Over £20k counterfeit phones and accessories seized from a shop
- Three fixed penalty notices issued for unlicensed street trading
- One shop found to be selling alcohol without a licence
- Three individuals referred to the council’s drug intervention programme
- Five vulnerable homeless people offered outreach support
- Alcohol and cannabis recovered from vulnerable individuals
- 17 parking tickets issued
- 250 vehicles checked for fraudulent permits, resulting in 3 disabled badges sized and 2 verbal warnings issued
- Four fixed penalty notices for unlawful disposal of waste
It’s great to hear about these police operations. I’m sure we all hope our local police are given the resources they need to continue these operations.