Cheshire Constabulary expands policing tactic to Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks
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Project Servator – a policing tactic used to disrupt a range of criminality - has been rolled out at Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks this week.
The approach, which sees police, businesses, community partners and the public working together to create a network of vigilance, is already in Cheshire.
The tactic has now been expanded to include Chester Zoo and Cheshire Oaks as part of a trial.
Project Servator sees the deployment of both highly visible and plain-clothed police officers, supported by other resources such as live-monitored CCTV.
The deployments are unpredictable, they can happen anywhere and at any time and include police officers who are specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may be carrying out hostile reconnaissance – the information gathering that may help them plan or prepare to commit a crime.
Project Servator deployments are highly visible, normal police operations designed to disrupt a range of criminal activity – including terrorism. Don’t be alarmed if you see our officers, there’s nothing to be concerned about. Feel free to talk to them if you want to find out more.
Project Servator was developed and tested by security experts at the NPSA (National Protective Security Authority) in partnership with the City of London Police. Following its launch by the City of London Police in 2014, the tactic has been rolled out by police forces across the UK and overseas.
Nationally, Project Servator has been successful in gathering intelligence that has assisted Counter Terrorism Units in investigating and preventing acts of terror and has resulted in arrests for a multitude of offences and is responsible for removing illegal firearms, knives and drugs from streets across the country.
Chief Inspector Paul Fegan said:
“The Project Servator trial is a fantastic opportunity for us to work closely with the zoo and Cheshire Oak’s to help maximise safety. It’s also about reminding the wider community to be vigilant at all times and report anything that doesn’t feel right.
“I want to reassure visitors to the zoo and Cheshire Oaks that this isn’t about alarming people, it’s about being alert – this policing tactic adds another layer of security to our existing policing methods, helping to make residents and visitors feel even safer.”
Officers have been talking to visitors, staff and working with private security officers, to encourage them to report anything that doesn’t feel right. You can help by telling a police officer or member of staff immediately or call 101. In an emergency, always call 999.
Nigel Peers, Chester Zoo’s Security Compliance and Resilience Manager, said:
“The safety of everyone who works and visits Chester Zoo is incredibly important to us, which is why we’re working closely with Cheshire Police as part of Project Servator to further deter any would-be criminals from operating in the area.
“Chester Zoo is a very, very safe place and renown for being a place where people from all over the country come to make memories and discover more about the conservation of threatened wildlife. This partnership will further strengthen the visible and less visible measures we already have in place to keep everyone safe and secure.”