JEDI – may the force be with you in Shoreditch

A team of Police and Council officers – known as JEDI* came out in force on the streets of Shoreditch, visiting six pubs, bars and off-licenses suspected of breaching customer safety on London’s busiest Christmas party weekend (Friday 11 Dec).

The team also tested queues of clubbers for drugs and investigated an illegal mini cab that had persuaded two vulnerable women into the back.

JEDI, a joint force made up of Council Licensing officers, as well as Trading Standards, CCTV, Environmental Health, Noise Pollution and Licensing Police were out from 9pm until 3am on Friday 11 December.

During the night when fifteen officers were deployed, three men were arrested for alleged drugs offences between Hoxton Street and Hoxton Square. 50 voluntary drug tests were taken as a condition of entry in queues outside the Hoxton Pony and Cargo – seven tested positive and were turned away. JEDI Officers also used the Electronic Sniffer Dog** which revealed unacceptable hits of cocaine in the female toilets and DJ Booth at Plastic People. Problems with health and safety and noise levels were also found at Elbow Room. Both bars have agreed to work with the council to improve customer safety.

At 12pm, marshals at the taxi rank in Shoreditch radioed through to CCTV when they saw two women, worse for wear in the back of an unlicensed cab. When JEDI officers approached, the driver claimed to be a relative of the women’s. The women denied this and was helped into a safe licensed cab. The unlicensed cab driver is currently under investigation.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “Pubs and clubs in party areas like Shoreditch, have a responsibility to the community who drink in them and the people who live around them. Through our joint enforcement efforts, we are sending out a clear message that those that fail to comply with the law will not be allowed to continue pedalling a raw deal in Hackney.”

Sergeant Andy Newman from Hackney s Licensing Unit, said: "The Police and Hackney Council are committed to reducing crime and disorder in and around licensed premises. By joining forces and maintaining a high-visibility presence, we are helping provide a safe, sensible and social festive season for visitors enjoying a night out in Shoreditch and local residents alike."


* JEDI stands for Joint Enforcement Development Initiative.
** The Electronic Sniffer Dog is the nickname for the, a computer that can identify trace elements and larger quantities of drugs within four seconds of swabbing clothes, hands or objects.