Tuesday, May 28

Flash sweeps take weapons off the streets

A series of co-ordinated operations by the police, council and Tower Hamlets Homes is targeting areas where criminals are operating across the borough to remove illegal drugs and offensive weapons.

Intelligence from the partners is being used to deliver “Flash Sweeps”, where officials work with local residents and faith leaders to check neighbourhoods for dangerous goods and confiscate them.

Two foot long, serrated “Zombie Knives”, large kitchen knives and a machete have been found and seized during the first three sweeps.

Needles, baseball bats, hammers and poles were also removed during the organised searches.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:

“These knife sweeps are a great example of the work the police and council are doing to tackle knife crime and take these savage weapons off our streets.

“There is absolutely no excuse for carrying knives. From knife sweeps to investing in additional police officers and supporting better education in schools we are committed to doing all we can to tackle knife crime in the East End.”

Councillor Asma Begum, cabinet member for safety added:

“We want to work with our communities to find out what issues are in their areas so we can target our resources in tackling them.

“Dozens of residents took the opportunity to check their neighbourhoods for drugs and weapons in our first three Flash Sweeps.

“I hope many more residents will take the opportunity to join an operation when we visit their estates.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Sue Williams said:

“Flash Searches are an evolved version on a tried and tested technique that police have used for some time.

“The great thing about these flash searches is that they involve our communities across the borough. It means we are all working together to take knives off of the streets.

“It’s really good to see police, residents, local authority and community leaders taking an interest in this initiative, taking time out of their busy lives to work with us.”

The next search is scheduled for mid-August. Police will knock on residents’ doors to see if they would like to take part.

– Press realise