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Police recover 34 stolen bikes from Brick Lane Market and make 20 arrests

The Met Police have made 20 arrests so far as part of an operation at Brick Lane Market (Tower Hamlets Council)
The Met Police have made 20 arrests so far as part of an operation at Brick Lane Market (Tower Hamlets Council)

The Metropolitan Police have arrested 20 people and recovered 34 stolen bikes as part of an ongoing operation to tackle illicit goods being sold at Brick Lane Market.

The force, working with officers from Tower Hamlets Council, have carried out 130 stop and searches at the popular Sunday market and arrests have been made for a variety of offences including burglary, theft of bicycles, possession of knives, assault and sexual offences.

Since a joint operation was launched in November 2022 to crack down on illegal street traders, police have recovered 34 suspected stolen bikes as well as tools used to commit burglaries and thefts.

Some 64 people were also issued with antisocial behaviour warnings or Community Protection Notices, which ban them from the market area.

To prevent future thefts more than 50 bikes were marked with invisible identity codes and hundreds of traders, tourists and residents have been given crime advice.

Sergeant Alvaro Aracena-Fuentes said: “The operation to date has been very positive and has helped to return the market to a state of safety and security, largely free of crime and ASB.

“This operation will continue to run in partnership with the local authority, and hopefully will assist in the market thriving for years to come.”

Tower Hamlets Council officers also issued multiple fines for illegal street trading.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “The success of this operation is down to the excellent partnership work of the police and council.

“Brick Lane Market is a popular place for tourists and residents and so it is vital that we make sure that it is as safe as possible for everyone to enjoy.”