Project Servator Launch in Leeds (2 Nov 2018)

Project _servator _logo _0Officers trained in the latest police tactics to disrupt criminals and counter terrorism are to deploy across Leeds following a trial of a cutting edge policing project.

West Yorkshire Police has now formally launched Project Servator following the Leeds City Centre based trial of the initiative which resulted in arrests, drug seizures and intelligence gathering.

In September 2018, the force began using policing tactics that were developed and tested by experts at the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and first used by the City of London Police in 2014.

Specially-trained officers in uniform and plain clothes carried out unpredictable and highly visible police patrols as part of the trial and were supported by other police resources, including firearms officers, police dogs and police horses.

They also spoke with shoppers, retailers and business partners to encourage them to act as the police's eyes and ears and build a network of vigilance intended to disrupt a wide range of criminality, including terrorism.

As part of their work, the officers developed partnerships with Leeds Council, Safer Leeds and Leeds BID and engaged with a number of major businesses and shopping centres, including the Trinity Centre, Victoria Gate, White Rose and more, all helping to provide the police with extra eyes and ears.

During the trial, officers made nine arrests for offences from burglary to drugs and received numerous pieces of intelligence, including reports which were passed to the counter terror unit. They also recovered drugs including Spice and a number of weapons.

Project Servator officers are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that a person may be carrying out 'hostile reconnaissance', which is the information gathering an individual carries out when planning to commit a criminal act, including terrorist attacks.

The tactics used as part of Project Servator are intended to create an environment where it is very difficult for criminals to operate effectively.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster of West Yorkshire Police, said:

"We worked for many months to bring cutting edge Project Servator tactics to West Yorkshire and have been pleased with the impact it has had in Leeds City Centre.

"Residents and businesses have been keen to speak with our officers and we have received numerous pieces of intelligence about criminality which is in the process of being developed into investigations.

"Project Servator is all about making it hard for criminals to operate while, at the same time, reassuring the public.

"From now on our Project Servator officers could deploy anywhere at any time across the Leeds District.

"This is nothing to be alarmed about and we would encourage residents to speak with our teams who will be carrying Project Servator leaflets and signage.

"Please remember that if you see something suspicious which doesn't look and feel right, then get in touch. We need you to help us by being our eyes and ears to help prevent crime."

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"I fully support the work of Project Servator and its emphasis on evidence based policing, which will ultimately help to keep people safe and feeling safe.

"It is crucial that we rely on the latest research to inform our tactics in disrupting criminal activity and counter terrorism in all its forms.

"Its purpose absolutely reflects the priorities I have recently outlined in my refreshed Police and Crime Plan, particularly in meeting our strategic policing requirements, as set out in legislation.

"Likewise, I continue to oversee the response to identifying and preventing major threats to our communities and this project is a key component of the approach in helping to reassure the public of West Yorkshire."

Safer Leeds Chief Executive Paul Money said:

"The trial by West Yorkshire Police of Project Servator in Leeds city centre has achieved a variety of positive results, and we very much welcome that this initiative will now be available city-wide.

"We want to ensure that people living in all of our communities or visiting Leeds feel safe and secure, and Project Servator provide us as a city with another tool at our disposal to target those individuals and groups involved in various criminality."

  • Project Servator deployments can turn up anywhere at any time and officers rely on retailers and residents to be their eyes and ears. Report anything that doesn't look or feel right. This could be an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously. Tell a police officer or a member of staff or call 101. Always call 999 in an emergency
  • If you think someone's suspicious behaviour could be linked to terrorism, it's important to report it. Trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence at www.gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321. Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. You can help the police prevent terrorism and save lives.
  • Project Servator tactics were developed and tested by experts at the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and first used by the City of London Police in 2014. Since then, 14 other police forces have adopted the policing tactics or begun trialling them, including in North Yorkshire and Greater Manchester

Read more about Project Servator on our dedicated webpage : www.westyorkshire.police.uk/ProjectServator

Keep up to date by following the dedicated Project Servator Twitter account @WYP_Servator

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018