Project Servator is a policing tactic that aims to disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while providing a reassuring presence for the public. It is used by a number of UK police forces. The approach relies on police working with the community - businesses, partners and members of the public - to build a network of vigilance and encourage anything that doesn't feel right to be reported. Project Servator has been successful in gathering intelligence that has assisted Counter Terrorism Units across the UK in investigating and preventing acts of terror. It has resulted in arrests for a multitude of offences and is responsible for removing firearms, knives and drugs from the streets since it was introduced in the City of London 2014.
What will I see?
Project Servator involves police carrying out highly visible and unpredictable deployments that can happen anywhere at any time. These are made up of a range of resources. Some are highly visible, such as uniformed police officers, dogs and horses, armed officers and vehicle checkpoints.
Others are less visible, such a plain clothes officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and state-of-the-art CCTV. The difference between this and other police deployments is that they involve police officers who are specially-trained to identify individuals who may be planning or preparing to commit a criminal act. They are able to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may be carrying out hostile reconnaissance - the planning a terrorist or other criminal needs to do before carrying out criminal activity, including terror attacks.
Police forces work together and with security teams at publicly accessible locations to carry out joint deployments. If a Project Servator deployment pops up in your area, it's likely one of the officers involved will speak to you to let you know what they are doing and ask for your help to be their extra eyes and ears. Please feel free to chat to them.
How can I help?
You know your business, your neighbourhood, your route to work, the parks, shops and places you often visit, better than anyone.
- If you're responsible for security at a publicly accessible location, Project Servator may be operating in your area. Please work with the local officers, who will visit your premises and discuss how you can work together to create a network of vigilance.
- It's vital that you encourage your staff to be vigilant. Find out more about See, Check and Notify (SCaN) - a free training programme that helps to protect your site from a range of threats, including hostile reconnaissance.
- Stay alert for anything out of the ordinary or that doesn't seem to fit with day-to-day life. Action Counters Terrorism - find out what to look out for and how to keep yourself and others safe.
- Trust your instincts and report anything that doesn't feel right. Any piece of information could be important, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, it is better to safe and report it.
- Speak to a police officer or member of security staff where you are.
- Or, call your local police on 101. In an emergency, always call 999.
- You can also report suspicious activity online.
Keep up to date with how Project Servator is helping to disrupt a range of crime across the country by searching #ProjectServator on your preferred social media channel.
To find out if Project Servator is operating in your area, contact the National Project Servator Team at NPST@cityoflondon.police.uk