Thursday 11 April 2019 marks the second anniversary of Project Servator in York and North Yorkshire.
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.
Since its launch in York in April 2017, North Yorkshire Police has seen over 300 Project Servator deployments across York, Scarborough, Harrogate and Richmondshire.
The approach relies on unpredictable and highly visible police deployments, while at the same time, building a network of vigilance made up of business and community partners and the general public.
North Yorkshire Police was one of the first police forces in the country to launch Project Servator and is now one of 12 to have fully implemented the tactics.
Deployments can pop up anywhere, any time, in any weather, and include highly visible policing supported by a range of resources that can include CCTV, armed police officers, police dogs, automatic number plate recognition, mounted police, plain clothed officers and air support – including drones.
Officers have also forged partnerships with local businesses and organisations to raise awareness of Project Servator, to train staff about how to spot suspicious activity, and in some cases, carry out joint deployments such as those carried out with the armed forces in Catterick.
Chief Inspector Fiona Willey of North Yorkshire Police’s Proactive Policing Unit, said: “Since we launched Project Servator two years ago, we’ve gone from strength-to-strength, building up networks with partners, training other organisations, and raising awareness in local communities.
“My thanks go to our partner agencies, local businesses, and venues for their support with Project Servator, from theatres, to race courses, museums to markets, shopping centres and major events. We have had tremendous support from them and their involvement is invaluable in helping us to keep North Yorkshire safe for residents, visitors and businesses. And of course, my thanks go to the thousands of members of the public who have engaged with officers on the streets.”
PC Andrew Thompson, of North Yorkshire Police’s Project Servator team, added: “Members of the public play a really important part in Project Servator and we have had a great response from the people who we interact with on the streets.
“Please be reassured that if there’s a Project Servator deployment in your area, there’s nothing to worry about. As part of their activity, those involved will talk to the public and local businesses to let them know what they are doing and remind them to be vigilant and report any suspicious or unusual behaviour to police. You may also see officers handing out leaflets explaining what Project Servator is or Project Servator posters on display. Working with the community is a vital part of making Project Servator a success.
“Don’t be surprised or alarmed if you see us and weren’t expecting to. Feel free to talk to us if you want to find out more.”
Members of the public have a vital role to play in helping the police by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously.
Please report suspicious activity on 101. Suspicious activity is anything that seems out place, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit in with day-to-day life. If it’s an emergency, for example if you find a suspicious package, always call 999.
If you think someone’s suspicious behaviour could be linked to terrorism, it’s important to report it. Trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives.Last modified: April 10, 2019