An innovative policing tactic has been launched this week (17th July) in Merseyside to deter, detect and disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism.
Project Servator deployments will be highly unpredictable and intelligence-led and are made up of specially trained officers and staff who will deploy to crowded areas, town centres, organised events and various points of interest. Here, they’ll carry out patrols to gather intelligence, look out for suspicious activity and, where necessary, arrest and investigate those believed to be linked to criminality.
Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Ian Critchley said: “I’m really pleased to be implementing Project Servator across Merseyside.
“This project has been proven beneficial amongst many other forces including British Transport (BTP), City of London and North Yorkshire Police to name a few. We’re eager to follow suit by trialling these policing tactics ourselves and thereby becoming a nationally accredited ‘Project Servator’ force.
“These deployments have also been implemented when policing large scale events, including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, Tour de Yorkshire event in 2017 and more recently, the Tall Ships Festival, held in Liverpool this spring. As positive as they are, these events inevitably mean we must protect people in crowded places. So, it’s never been more important to actively monitor suspicious behaviour and encourage the public to work with us to deter criminal activity.
“The nature of these tactics means the public should expect to see a varied police presence, from less visible tactics like plain clothes officers, ANPR and CCTV units to uniformed patrols, vehicle stop checks, dogs, mounted and firearms units. This ensures that deployments remain highly unpredictable yet effective and work alongside our vigilant communities and partners. By encouraging people to report suspicious behaviour, this makes it even harder for criminals to succeed and in doing so, enhances our long term security.
“We want all members of the general public; residents, visitors and business owners alike, to remain reassured that these tactics are not in response to a specific threat. However, we mustn’t become complacent – Trust your instincts, contact @MerPolCC, call 101 or report suspicious behaviour in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321. Your safety is paramount and together we will act on reports accordingly which will ultimately prevent crime and save lives.”
Project Servator is one of a number of tactics being used by the Force, and partners (including security personnel, local authorities and other emergency services) to help protect communities from crime and deter offenders from carrying out hostile reconnaissance.
What is hostile reconnaissance?
Hostile reconnaissance is the information gathering a criminal does when planning to commit a criminal act, including terrorist attacks. This can be online or ‘on the ground’ in person.
Implementing these tactics will mean a more enhanced and strategic approach to protecting those living, visiting and working in Merseyside.
Project Servator has been launched in the Liverpool area but will become business as usual and operate in all areas of Merseyside.
All deployments will be unpredictable and will take place in a variety of locations across the region.
For more information: follow @MerseyPolice on Twitter or visit: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/.