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Luton Airport uses Servator

Police at London Luton Airport are among the latest to have adopted Project Servator, the policing tactic to deter, detect and disrupt a range of crime, including terrorism.

As a national tactic Servator is already in use across transport hubs, at Sellafield (featured in Professional Security magazine in spring 2017) and across London (launched and featured in the May 2018 issue of Professional Security magazine). It sees the deployment of visible and plain clothed police officers, plus other resources that can include detection dogs, armed officers, vehicle checkpoints, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV. At the airport as elsewhere under Servator, the unpredictable but planned deployments can happen anywhere and at any time, and include police officers trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent.

Inspector Ian Taylor, from the Bedfordshire force’s Airport Policing Unit, said: “Project Servator is a tried-and-tested tactic which brings together a wide range of policing resources, working alongside the additional eyes-and-ears of businesses, security staff, enthusiast groups and members of the public, to make it even harder for criminals, including terrorists, to succeed. The safety and security of everyone within the airport, from visitors to members of staff, is our absolute priority and these new tactics will ensure that we are evolving as a workforce to combat the criminal activity we may encounter at the airport.

“The deployments will form a key part of our activity at the airport and support the vital work the team already does on a daily basis to keep the site safe. The public shouldn’t be worried if they come across a deployment; in fact I would encourage anyone to talk to the officers to find out more. The public can play a key role in keeping the airport community safe by reporting anything that seems out of place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit with day-to-day life.”

Since a trial began in June, results have included seizures totalling £15,000, arrests of people for a range of offences, vehicle seizures, and what the police describe as a significant number of intelligence reports.

Neil Thompson, Operations Director at London Luton Airport said: “The safety and security of our staff and passengers is our number one priority and we are pleased to support Bedfordshire Police in their adoption of Project Servator. We believe this very public approach to security will not only serve as a deterrent, but also provide daily reassurance to the many thousands who work at or travel from London Luton Airport.”

Some background

Police ask that if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related, trust your instincts and call the freephone confidential hotline 0800 789 321. Servator began in spring 2014, in the City of London force area; when Professional Security magazine featured its use at the One New Change shopping centre across the road from St Paul’s Cathedral. Essex Police carry out Servator at the Lakeside shopping centre (as featured in Professional Security in September 2017) and Stansted Airport. Visit For posters for businesses interested in supporting Servator, and a briefing, visit the City of London Police website.

Image outside LLA departures; courtesy of London Luton Airport.


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