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WATCH: Police operation targeting criminals and terrorists

WATCH: Police operation targeting criminals and terrorists

Published at 4:01pm 11th April 2017. (Updated at 4:20pm 11th April 2017)

North Yorkshire Police has launched a new operation to deter, detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity in crowded places.

Project Servator will involve the deployment of both highly visible and covert police officers and staff, alongside other resources such as dogs, firearms, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and CCTV cameras in busy town and city centres and at large events including the Tour de Yorkshire.

Officers have been specially trained using tactics developed and tested over a five-year period by the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) in partnership with City of London Police.

Project Servator has proved successful elsewhere and is already 'business as usual' for a number of forces such as City of London Police, British Transport Police (BTP), Essex Police, Ministry of Defence Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

It was also used extensively by Police Scotland during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Police are asking everyone to be their extra 'eyes and ears', by reporting any suspicious behaviour.

Superintendent Mark Grange, North Yorkshire Police's Operational Policing Training Lead and Strategic Lead for Project Servator, said: "Building on the national success of Project Servator in disrupting a wide range of criminality whilst reassuring the public, North Yorkshire Police is now undertaking a programme of work to roll it out locally at various events and locations across the county, including for the Tour de Yorkshire later this month.

"In doing so, we are enhancing our existing tactics by adopting the best practice developed within policing across the UK in order to help keep key sites and crowded places within North Yorkshire safe and secure.

"The active support of the public, community and businesses is key to the success of Project Servator.

"Our officers have already been engaging with businesses and the local community over the last month to introduce them to the concept and to explain the vital role that they have to play.

"Please don't be surprised or alarmed if you see a heavy police presence in York today and at other locations around the county in the coming weeks and months. Keep in mind that these are normal police operations that will deter, detect and disrupt a broad range of criminal activity.

"The deployments are designed to be unpredictable and can turn up at any time. One day our tactics may be highly visible, the next we will be working in a more covert way.

"You can help us keep your area and community safe by engaging with the Servator teams if you see them deployed in your area and by speaking to officers to find out how you can play a part."

Assistant Chief Constable Amanda Oliver has been speaking to Stray FM's sister radio station Minster FM:

 

Anyone who sees anything suspicious is asked to tell a police officer, call 101, dial 999 in an emergency or contact the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.