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 and New South Wales Police Force in Australia.
The approach relies on police working with the community – businesses, partners and members of the public – to build a network of vigilance and encourage suspicious behaviour and activity 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 many arrests for a multitude of offences and is responsible for removing firearms, knives and drugs from the streets.
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 as plain clothes officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV operators.
Police officers 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 they need to do before carrying out criminal activity, including terror attacks. Police forces also work together to carry out joint deployments.
If a Project Servator deployment pops up in your area, it’s likely that 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 neighbourhood, your route to work, the parks, shops and places you often visit, better than anyone. You can help by:
- Remaining vigilant 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.
- 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 be 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.