Tower Hamlets News Police wish suspected Gang Members a Happy Christmas

05 December 2012

Photo of police officer with Christmas Card

This week police in Tower Hamlets have sent out over 200 Christmas Cards to suspected gang members and others suspected to be involved in crime warning them to desist from criminality. In particular it explains a new offence that has just become law. The message has a positive aspect too as it offers opportunities to escape from the cycle of crime.

The idea is not new; but it is effective. The season’s greetings are particularly timely as December saw the enactment of new legislation that makes it an offence to brandish a knife during the commission of an offence. What’s more, and the card makes this clear in bold red writing, is that on conviction there is a mandatory term of imprisonment. The cards have a letter inside that reads:

"We have a duty to the public to take a tough approach"

Tower Hamlets Police are looking to ensure that this holiday period is one of peace and celebration for all sections of the community.

As such we are contacting people like yourself, who we believe MAY be involved in Anti-Social/Gang activity on the borough.

It needs to be made clear that these kinds of activities will not be tolerated, and anyone suspected of committing offences will be targeted.

We would also like to make you aware of the new offence of aggravated knife possession.

If you are aged 18 or over and threaten another with a knife you will serve a mandatory sentence of a minimum six months in prison. If you are aged between 16 and 18 you will be served a four month detention and training order.

If you no longer want to be part of a gang or criminal activity we will help you. We work together with other agencies and can offer you:
• Ways out
• Training and education
• Employment opportunities

If you wish to speak to us please contact us, either by telephone 08:00-16:00 Monday-Friday, or discreetly by email.


Tower Hamlets Gangs Unit
0208 2174 100

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Warnett said “This is no more than a means of crime prevention by targeting suspects rather than victims. There is a clear warning but also offers of help to those who wish to break the cycle of crime and anti-social behaviour. Knife crime and all forms of Anti-Social Behaviour, serious youth violence damage communities, destroy lives, cause pain, and rob families of hope. It is completely unacceptable and we will not stand by. We have a duty to the public to take a tough approach”.