A POLICE operation to gather information against terrorists and other criminals is set to expand into Coventry city centre after a successful pilot in Birmingham, Solihull and Birmingham Airport.
Project Servator will see officers adopting new specialist tactics aimed at disrupting hostile reconnaissance
Project ServatorCoventry has already seen some good results during trials of the project late last year.
On a recent deployment in the city, a teenager was arrested and drugs and a weapon recovered after plain-clothed officers spotted him acting suspiciously.
Another time, at a vehicle checkpoint, a man wanted for driving offences was arrested after displaying suspicious behaviour. He was identified picked up by Servator trained officers.
The highly visible deployments can take place at any time and at key locations in Coventry.
Uniformed and plain-clothed police officers are trained to identify tell-tale signs which signal that someone may commit a crime. They are then supported by specialist police resources such as search dogs, armed officers, drones and a network of CCTV cameras.
West Midlands Police also works with security staff and shop retailers.
But the force said officers cannot successfully operate alone and a key part of the tactic is encouraging people to report suspicious activity as and when they see it.
Insp Simon Finney, from Coventry Police, said: “Our priority is ensuring that the people who live, work and visit Coventry feel safe.
“These specialist tactics will continue to help us to further combat crime and make people feel safe.
“We don’t want you to be worried about our increased presence, if you do see one of our deployments taking place it’s nothing to worry about.
“We are here to keep you safe and if you have any concerns please come and speak to us. You can also play an important role by being vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, either to an officer or by calling 101.”
Insp Finney and his team are also encouraging everyone to follow national ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) guidance.
Visit gov.uk/ACT for more information on what to look out for and how to contact police.
Anyone who sees anything which ‘does not feel right’ should report it directly to a police officer or by calling 101.
In an emergency or when there is a need for direct swift action, always call 999.