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The City of London Police reports that under Project Servator, the new approach to deploying officers to detect crime and deter terrorism, has led to 238 arrests with 65pc of stop and searches resulting in an arrest, caution or fixed penalty notice since it began in February 2014.
The tactics developed by the City of London force have the aim of deterring terrorists and detecting crime by deploying highly visible officers besides undercover officers who are trained in behavioural detection.
Home Office Security Minister, John Hayes, visited a deployment in Tower Bridge on Wednesday, July 22 to see the tactics alongside the Commissioner of the City of London Police, Adrian Leppard. Project Servator was first piloted by the force in 2014 and the tactic has become ‘business as usual’. The tactics are aimed at deterring those that are conducting hostile reconnaissance in the Square Mile as well as detect criminals.
Hostile reconnaissance is defined by police as the purposeful observation of people, places, vehicles and locations with the intention of collecting information to inform the planning of a hostile act against a target.
The tactics were adopted by Police Scotland during the Commonwealth Games, as featured in Professional Security in our August and September 2014 issues; and are also being used by British Transport Police at key transport hubs. Metropolitan police officers from Westminister Borough are also looking at the tactic as an option.
The deployment of the specially trained unit is unpredictable so that they can stay one step ahead of those that wish to commit crime or prepare for acts of terrorism. Servator deployments use all available tactical options to ensure that they are unpredictable in the way look, as well as where and when they are deployed.
John Hayes said “The Government is determined to lead efforts to deter, detect and disrupt all terrorist threats to the UK. The police, Security Services and Crown Prosecution Service do vital work to keep the public safe at a time of very significant threat. High-profile policing operations such as those carried out under Project Servator are at the centre of ongoing efforts to maintain security at key sites and in crowded places.
“In addition, the highly targeted stop and search being practised by the officers involved in Servator is capturing a whole spectrum of offending, from petty to serious and organised criminality. I welcomed the opportunity to see this in action.”
And Adrian Leppard said “Project Servator shows the City of London Police continuing its tradition of innovating its tactics to deter terrorism and catch those committing crime.
“The specialist behavioural detection training has shown how an essential policing tactic like stop and search can be improved and developed. The current threat level means that we have to remain alert and vigilant, and the unpredictable nature of Servator deployments means they are a highly effective detection and deterrent tool.”
Pictured: A Servator deployment at Millennium Bridge. Photo by Mark Rowe.
For more about Servator visit the City of London Police website.