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Commuters and visitors to Manchester City Centre will see more frequent Project Servator deployments as GMP welcomes them back to the City Centre.
The policing tactic aims to disrupt hostile reconnaissance – the information-gathering terrorists and other criminals need to do to help them plan.
It has been running in Manchester City Centre for two years, and at Manchester Airport since 2018, covering iconic sites and encompassing a raft of tactics which are used by officers to disrupt criminal activity.
Project Servator is different to regular policing, because the officers involved are specially-trained to spot tell-tale signs that someone may be carrying out hostile reconnaissance and planning or preparing to commit a crime.
Project Servator deployments can happen anywhere and at any time – they are designed to be unpredictable. Officers are operating across the city centre and transport network, and deploy with key partners, including British Transport Police.
But it’s not just specially-trained officers that have a role to play in disrupting hostile reconnaissance. Project Servator relies on police working with the community to build a network of vigilance.
Chief Inspector Roger Worrall said: "We know it's been a difficult time for everyone recently and we don’t want people to worry if they see extra officers out and about.
“Project Servator is very much business as usual, but we need the support of the public and local businesses. They play a vital role in helping to make Manchester a difficult place for terrorists and other criminals to operate.
"We want to welcome everyone back into our City but also ask people to remain vigilant and be our extra eyes and ears. Officers will be speaking to people to explain how they can help.
“You know your local area, where you work, live or commute, as well as anyone and you’ll know if something doesn’t seem right. Trust your instincts and report any suspicious activity to a police officer or member of staff where you are. You can also call 101 or report online at gov.uk/ACT. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”
GMP has also been working tirelessly with local businesses across the city centre to deliver SCaN (See, Check and Notify) training so officers can have even more support to identify and report suspicious activity efficiently, therefore improving the network of vigilance in and around Manchester City Centre.
Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “The public have told us that they want to see more visible policing so I’m pleased to see Project Servator in operation once again. This activity sends a strong message to the public that the police are working hard to keep them safe, whilst making it extremely difficult for criminals to operate.
“I encourage the public and businesses across the city centre to help the police by remaining vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity. Only by working together, can we make our streets safer.”
Since it was introduced by the City of London Police in 2014, Project Servator has been adopted by 21 other UK police forces and police in Gibraltar and New South Wales, Australia.