‘Tackling domestic violence and prostitution in Tower Hamlets’
11:57 31 January 2013
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer: Borough Commander Tower Hamlets Police
You will be familiar by now with my commitment to confronting domestic violence in Tower Hamlets.
One reason for our success, which puts us in the top five most efficient boroughs in the Met for dealing with this problem, is the introduction of a dedicated response vehicle, call sign ‘HT7’.
This provides a CID response to domestic violence calls where an experienced officer will meet the victim face to face at the first opportunity to obtain evidence and give specialist victim care.
Another area where we have made substantial advances is in tackling vice. This was a natural development following huge public support for our work last year in Bethnal Green South. A dedicated team of one sergeant and three constables, part-funded by the local authority, started operating from Bethnal Green police station on January 14.
Their remit is to work in partnership with statutory and voluntary agencies tackling prostitution and kerb crawling. There will be an enforcement strand and a diversion strand to the operations. The officers, both male and female, will work in plain clothes.
Finally, I am pleased to announce the expansion of the town centre team under the direction of an inspector. These officers support a regular Safer Neighbourhoods team in Brick Lane and Whitechapel and take a very proactive approach to enforcement through intelligence-led policing.
We don’t have a traditional town centre with natural boundaries, but the Brick Lane and Whitechapel footprint account for a disproportionally high number of offences. The town centre team’s contribution, along with targeted deployment of other police resources, means across the borough we have achieved a reduction of 14 per cent in residential burglary, knife crime is down seven per cent, serious youth violence is cut by 30 per cent and gun crime has been halved in the past year.