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North Yorkshire Trained to Spot Criminals

North Yorkshire Trained to Spot Criminals

Published by Jon Burke at 10:49am 20th November 2019.

North Yorkshire Police’s Project Servator team has trained nearly 200 members of staff and volunteers in the retail, tourism and security industry in how to spot potential criminals and those planning to commit crime.

The training means that there are now another 200 pairs of eyes at key locations in the county watching out for the signs of potential criminal activity in addition to the force’s unpredictable policing deployments under Project Servator.

Project Servator was introduced in North Yorkshire in April 2017 and is designed to disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while providing a reassuring presence for the public.

Chief Inspector Fiona Willey, from North Yorkshire Police, said:

“Support from businesses, partners and members of the public is vital to the effectiveness of Project Servator.

This training takes that support to another level and means there is still someone watching and looking out for the signs of suspicious activity if we are not there.

My thanks go to the many organisations who have embraced Project Servator and recognise its importance. Their contribution means that North Yorkshire and York is that little bit safer thanks to their involvement.”

Carl Nickson, Managing Director of Eboracum UK Ltd, one of the businesses who’ve taken part in the training, added:

“The training has been really effective in enhancing our team awareness. The programme encourages a mechanism that allows us to quickly identify suspicious activity, whilst at the same time making sure that genuine customers still receive a great interaction with our team members. It has opened doors for further partnership work and aligns us all to the same approach. This kind of joined-up working works well for us and benefits the whole community – it is now best practice in our business.”

The training also included a number of “Ready for Anything” volunteers who swing into action in the event of a major incident.

Senior Resilience and Emergencies Officers at North Yorkshire County Council, Tim Townsend, said:

“There was a strong feeling that you had helped them to feel a part of the wider emergency service r esponse, even though it could have been aimed at any member of the public, there was clearly and direct relevance to the roles that the volunteers could carry out.”

A further 40 people at different organisations are due to be trained over the next few months.

In the run up to Christmas members of the public are likely to see an increased visible police presence, particularly in crowded places. Don’t be alarmed, this is normal and planned policing tactics to help keep people safe and prevent crime – from thefts to terrorism.

To report suspicious activity, please call the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency. You can also report suspicious activity that you believe may be linked to terrorism confidentially on 0800 789 321 or online at the Action Counters Terrorism website

Don’t worry that it may not be, trust your instincts and report it as any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe.

About Project Servator 

Project Servator is a tactic that sees the unpredictable deployment of both highly visible and covert police officers alongside other resources such as police dogs, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, firearms officers, and CCTV in busy areas such as town centres.

These deployments can pop up at any time with officers specially trained to deter, disrupt and detect a range of crimes from pickpockets to terrorism.

Key to the success of Project Servator is the support of people living, working and visiting the area to be extra eyes and ears for the police, reporting any suspicious behaviour to help make it even harder for criminals to succeed.

Project Servator was developed by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the City of London Police, which began using the style of police deployments in February 2014 to reinforce the existing ‘ring of steel’ around the City of London. CPNI is the government authority which provides protective security advice to businesses and organisations that provide the UK’s essential services.

Since its introduction in North Yorkshire in April 2017, North Yorkshire Police have been graded as outstanding in its adoption and deployment of Project Servator following an assessment earlier this year.

Servator is Latin for watcher or observer.


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