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Servator in Chester

Servator training continues to spread around the UK. Cheshire Police are now an accredited Project Servator force after a nine- month trial from June 2019 in Chester city centre (pictured).

Briefly, Project Servator is a policing tactic, used to disrupt a range of crime. City of London Police began it in 2014; Professional Security magazine has featured it in various places – in the City, at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, at Sellafield by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, and by Essex Police at Thamesmead shopping centre.

Part of the tactic, seeking to create uncertainty among criminals – whether pick-pockets or would-be terrorists carrying out ‘hostile reconnaissance’ on a site – sees police, businesses and the public working together. New South Wales and Gibraltar are among police outside the UK taking up the tactic; as developed and tested by the official Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) with the City of London Police.

Project Servator sees the deployment of visible and plain clothed police officers, in unpredictable mixes; and unpredictable yet planned other resources; such as dogs and handlers, firearms officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV; also at unpredictable (to the criminal) times and places. Police officers are trained to spot tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent.

As for Cheshire, Sgt Graham Davis, who is one of Chester city centre’s Servator trained lead officers, said: “It’s also a great opportunity to speak to shoppers and local businesses to educate them about how to spot suspicious activity and how to report it. This means that those intent on committing crime never know who is watching them.”

What to do

In an emergency call 999; otherwise call 101 or report suspicious behaviour in confidence at or by calling 0800 789 321.

For more about Servator, visit the City of London Police website.


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