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As the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease and more public spaces open again, police in London are asking the public and businesses to be vigilant for suspicious activity.
Chief Supt Dawn Morris, head of the Met’s Protective Security Command, said: “Over the past few weeks lockdown has meant that we have not been able to go about our daily lives as normal, but that doesn’t mean that potential terrorists or criminals haven’t been out and about. Since lockdown started, our skilled Project Servator officers have stopped people with criminal intent, seizing knives, suspected drugs and cash believed to be linked to crime.”
“While many people will now be looking forward to going out to some of their favourite places, unfortunately there’s a good chance that others who have criminal intent may be in the same locations looking to exploit the easing of lockdown. We will continue to work hard to help keep you safe as lockdown eases, but you have a key role to play. We need everyone – from hairdressers to pub patrons – to help us by being vigilant and to report suspicious activity.”
To recap briefly, Servator went London-wide in 2018, as featured in the May 2018 print edition of Professional Security magazine; as officers from the Met Police, City of London Police, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and British Transport Police forces were among those trained in the Servator method. Servator has gradually gone live around the country, having started in the City of London. It’s been featured in Professional Security several times since its 2013 beginnings; for instance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014; by the armed Civil Nuclear Constabulary at Sellafield, as featured in the magazine in spring 2017; and (by Essex Police) at the intu shopping mall at Lakeside in the September 2017 edition.
Servator deployments are described by police as unpredictable in terms of timing, location and duration; and the assets used with the officers (overt and / or covert), such as the Dogs Unit and Mounted Branch (pictured, from spring 2018). Servator is also about working with local businesses and the public to make life more uncomfortable for those carrying out crimes, or seeking to – whether terrorists doing hostile reconnaissance; pick-pockets or drug dealers.
How to report
You can report any suspicious activity, in person, to an officer on the street, or to relevant security staff or personnel. Suspicious activity can be reported online via the ACT website: www.gov.uk/ACT or by calling police, in confidence, on 0800 789 321. As for the sort of suspicious activity to watch out for, try the free online training at https://ct.highfieldelearning.com/.