Man arrested and knife seized as GMP Project Servator deployment strengthens vigilance in Manchester City Centre
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Specialist officers from Greater Manchester Police and British Transport Police were deployed to Manchester City Centre this morning (20 September 2023) as part of a specialist operation called Project Servator.
Project Servator is a national policing tactic that’s designed to disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, whilst providing a reassuring presence for the public.
During the deployment, officers detained a man for a search after he was spotted behaving suspiciously. The 38-year-old was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession of a bladed article and possession of a Class B substance. He was taken into police custody and a knife was seized.
This was one of numerous stop searches that took place as officers roamed across the areas of Piccadilly train station, Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street and St Peter’s Square.
Project Servator deployments are highly visible and unpredictable. They can happen anywhere at any time.
They involve specially trained uniformed and plain clothes officers to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may have criminal intent. Officers are also supported by colleagues in other specialist roles including the dog unit, the mounted unit, firearms and CCTV operators. Today they were also joined by British Transport Police.
Project Servator is also routinely used as part of GMP’s operational planning for large scale events such as Parklife, Pride, the upcoming Conservative Party Conference and the Christmas Markets.
Inspector Jon Middleton of GMP Specialist Operations said: “Project Servator is an opportunity for our officers to go out and speak to members of the public and provide a reassuring and high visibility police presence.
“We’re here to keep you safe and this is business as usual, so please don’t be alarmed if you see a Servator deployment. If you do have any concerns, our officers will be happy to answer any questions and explain why they’re in the area.
“During the deployment today a man was also arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a bladed article and a knife was seized. This is a great result for the team as it highlights the important work we do on a regular basis: creating a hostile environment for those intent on committing crime and keeping the public safe.
“Everyone has an important role to play, and our aim is to ultimately build a vigilance network so that businesses and members of the public can act as our extra eyes and ears on the ground and report anything suspicious. What we ask is simple: if you see something that doesn’t feel right; trust your instincts and report it to a member of staff or a police officer and enable us to act on it.”
To report suspicious activity, call the police on 101. Suspicious activity is anything that seems out of place, unusual or does not seem to fit in with day-to-day life. If it is an emergency, always call 999.
Guidance on how to help, including what suspicious activity to look out for, and confidential reporting is available at www.gov.uk/act.