Thursday, May 30

Mayor announces new police team to tackle anti-social behaviour on estates

 • 14 new police officers to work in a new anti-social behaviour unit with Tower Hamlets Homes

• Action responds to residents’ concerns on crime and drugs

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, has announced funding for fourteen new police officers to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on council estates. They will be joining Tower Hamlets Homes staff in a ground-breaking joint anti-social behaviour team – the first of its kind in the borough.

The new officers will bring the total number funded by the borough up to twenty and comes in response both to resident concerns about safety and significant cuts to the UK’s police budget in recent years.

The announcement was made at Wednesday evening’s Council meeting where the Mayor also revealed funding for additional mobile security patrols to provide an even greater visible uniformed presence on THH estates.

In total the new investment in police officers and additional security patrols will total £2.5m over the coming three years. The new officers will have a particular focus on drug dealing and drug misuse. The police officers should be on our streets later this year the Mayor announced.

Speaking during his State of the Borough report, Mayor John Biggs said:

“I can tonight announce we have reached an agreement with the police for the council to invest £1.5m to fund 14 new police officers to work across our Tower Hamlets Homes housing estates. They will take on the persistent offenders who are making life a misery for residents. These officers should be on our estates from September this year.

“We will not stop there either as I intend to look at funding further officers in the coming months.

“In a borough with 300,000 people living in only eight square miles, there are always going to be problems but this council is committed to supporting the police to tackle crime and ASB.”

Councillor Asma Begum, cabinet member for community safety said:

“This new investment from the Mayor is part of a wide package of measures to support the police tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. From new police officers to investing in drug treatment and crime prevention we are committed to making our borough a safer place to live.

“It’s clear that Government cuts to the police have meant fewer officers on our streets. That makes this new investment from the council even more important.”

Councillor Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, added:

“We want our housing estates to be as safe as possible for residents, these new officers and security patrols will make a real difference. Bringing the police and Tower Hamlets Homes staff together builds on the partnership work that is already getting results on our estates. The new team will have a single telephone number for reporting issues.

“The joint team will dedicate resources to areas where ASB is a problem.”

Sue Williams, Borough Commander, said:

“We take all concerns regarding drug dealing seriously and have taken enforcement activity to identify and arrest offenders and bring them to justice. We are working with partners and voluntary agencies to deal with those affected by drug abuse and help divert users into suitable programmes.

“We know local residents are deeply affected by drug misusers as well as those who hang about preying on vulnerable people so we have taken and will continue take positive action against those responsible for dealing in drugs.”

The new taskforce will patrol anti-social behaviour hotspots throughout the night from September.

The uniformed police teams will be fully in place by the Autumn and recruitment for them is already underway.

Crime was a top priority for residents in the recent 2017 Annual Residents’ Survey, although levels of concern about ASB issues had dropped in three out of the four areas monitored compared to 2015.

– Press realise