AFTER the success of ‘Project Servator’ at Birmingham Airport and Birmingham city centre, the operation will today (October 21) expand into Solihull town centre.
Project Servator is a multi-force operation adopted in key UK transport hubs and across the country, including London, Essex and North Yorkshire, whereby police officers adopt new specialist tactics aimed at tackling a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, while reassuring the public.
Uniformed and plain clothed undercover police officers are trained to identify suspicious criminal behaviour. They are supported by specialist police resources such as search dogs, armed officers, drones and a network of CCTV cameras. Officers also work with security staff, shop retailers and Solihull Street Wardens.
Solihull Police Superintendent Rich Agar said: “The safety of everyone visiting and working in the town centre is our priority and these tactics will continue to help us to further combat crime.
“Project Servator takes the best elements of traditional community policing and updates the approach with findings from extensive scientific research to maximise police resources and its effectiveness to fight crime.
“One of the key elements of Project Servator is unpredictability, so don’t be surprised if you see a visible police presence pop up at any time. It’s nothing to worry about.
“Our officers are here to keep you safe and I urge people to speak to us if they have any concerns. You can play an important role by being vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, either to an officer or by calling 101. In an emergency of course people need to dial 999.
“Our partners such as Solihull Council, Solihull BID and Touchwood fully support this initiative and join us in encouraging people to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious.”
Tony Elvin, General Manager of Touchwood Solihull, said: “It may be early days for #ProjectServator in Solihull but the impact is already being felt and we’re hugely grateful for the enhanced Police presence across the town.
“Without doubt Solihull has become a harder target for those seeking to cause harm to visitors or businesses within the town centre. The enhanced team working between key stakeholders has been an unexpected benefit, truly supporting the ‘Together We’ve got it Covered’ ethos.”
The highly visible deployments can take place at any time and at key locations in the town centre and will be rolled out across the rest of the borough.
West Midlands Police is also encouraging local resident to follow national ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) guidance. More information on what to look out for and how to contact police can be found at www.gov.uk/ACT.
Anyone who sees anything that does not feel right can report it directly to an officer or via 101. In an emergency always call 999. You can also follow @SolihullPolice on Twitter.