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A team of 14 enforcement officers will be launched by Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman yesterday (Wednesday).

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The 14 Tower Hamlets enforcement officers, will join the existing team of 16 THEOs, as they are also nicknamed. Twelve of the new recruits are all former council market inspectors whose job title is changing. The other two are team supervisors

A council spokeswoman explained that the former market inspectors will continue to focus on the borough’s markets but that their new title reflects increased powers to tackle crime and anti-social behavior.

The new recruits are all being issued with stab proof vests costing £445 each or around £5,000 for all new members.

While the 14 new members will not be police accredited like the existing THEOs they will have powers to seize alcohol and tobacco, and request the name of a person acting in an anti-social manner.

The THEOs were introduced by Mayor Rahman in 2009 deal with problems such as street drinking, graffiti, dog fouling and littering.

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