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Project Servator – successful crime-deterring tactics turn four

  • Project Servator uses a range of police resources to deter criminals and reassure the public

  • In the past four years the City of London Police have made over 500 arrests due to Servator deployments

  • Due to its success in the City, Project Servator is being rolled out nationwide to ensure the whole of the UK is a hostile place for terrorists and criminals

Project Servator aims to deter, detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity, while providing a reassuring police presence for the public and local community. It has been taking place in the City of London since 2014 and this weekend (10 February 2018) it will celebrate its four year anniversary. 

Servator deployments are made up of specially trained officers, police dogs, armed officers and police horses. Working together, they pop up across the City on unpredictable deployments to detect and deter criminal behaviour and identify criminal intent.

The effect is one of an uninviting environment for potential terrorists considering the City as target and individuals looking to commit crime within the Square Mile.

Plain clothes officers blend in with the crowd at busy places and iconic sites across the City while uniformed officers engage with the public to provide reassurance and raise awareness of the role the local community can play in preventing crime.

Success story

Since these tactics were first pioneered by the City of London Police four years ago, specially trained officers have conducted 938 searches leading to 547 arrests. A further 233 vehicles have been seized and 174 drug warnings handed out.

The team’s main purpose is to use their specialist skills in behavioural analysis to spot individuals looking to target the City for terrorism and wider crime, with the deployments leading to a real success in the number of arrests for drug dealing in the Square Mile.

In the past four years, officers have made 150 arrests for drug dealing and seized quantities of amphetamine, LSD, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA and heroin.

NEWS: Drug dealer jailed after Project Servator stop in the City

Other offences officers have arrested people for include robbery and possession of offensive weapons.

Joint working

Within the City, officers work closely with businesses and their security staff to develop a network of vigilance and raise awareness of how to report suspicious activity.

NEWS: Working with the local community - AVIVA learn about Project Servator 

They also frequently team up with their colleagues in the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence Police to take part in joint deployments.

Due to the success of Project Servator in London, the approach is now being used across UK policing, with the City acting as a centre of excellence for training and mentoring other forces, including Police Scotland, North Yorkshire Police and the Royal Gibraltar Police.

Business as usual

Superintendent Helen Isaac who oversees Project Servator at the City of London Police, said:

“It is a great honour for the City of London Police to see something they helped develop being successful in reducing crime.

“These police operations are very much ‘business as usual’ for our officers now and for the community we serve.

“It is great to see such a high level of engagement occurring between our officers and the general public and local businesses. We hope to continue working with them, and also our police colleagues, to make the UK a hostile place for criminals and terrorists.”

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