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Essex Police have begun carrying out highly visible patrols in Colchester as part of Project Servator. Essex Chief Inspector Jon Hayter said: “Project Servator has been a highly successful visible policing tactic across the country and we have in-depth experience having used the tactic elsewhere in Essex. These tactics are not being deployed in response to a specific threat but will mean a more enhanced and strategic approach to protecting Colchester. The deployments will use cutting-edge tactics to build on our existing safety measures and capabilities in the town.
“One of the key elements of Project Servator is unpredictability, so don’t be surprised if you see a visible police presence pop up at various times and locations across Colchester using different resources.
“The national threat level remains at ‘severe’ which means that an attack is highly likely and Colchester has a considerable military presence. A similar operation is currently running in York which has many similarities to Colchester in terms of that military link.
“Our officers are here to keep people safe and I need people to speak to us if they have any concerns. You can play an important role by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviour either to an officer or by calling 101. In an emergency of course people need to dial 999.”
Since 2013 Professional Security magazine has seen and been featuring Servator in various places – the City of London, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in summer 2014, King’s Cross station, Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, and most recently in our September 2017 issue, Intu Lakeside shopping centre at Thurrock in Essex, pictured.
As brief background, Project Servator is a national police patrol method for deterring and detecting criminal and terrorism, besides reassuring the public. A deployment can be at an unpredictable time and place (unpredictable to the criminals, or those carrying out hostile reconnaissance, that is) and can include any mix of uniformed and plain-clothed officers, and such assets as armed officers, police dogs, site or public space CCTV cameras, including ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition), private security staff and retailers.
At Stansted Airport, special constables trained in the Servator method have also been among the assets deployed.