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Police will use a new tactic to disrupt criminal activity all over Manchester

A tactic will be used by officers in the City Centre and all over Manchester to disrupt criminal activity.

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GMP is adopting Project Servator in the City Centre this week, after a pilot of the policing tactic has been running at Manchester Airport for the past year.

Project Servator will see officers use a tactic working with partners to target offenders of all levels, from petty criminals to terrorists. These include highly visible and unpredictable patrols that can turn up anywhere and at any time across the city.

They will involve both uniformed and plain clothes officers, who are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that a person is planning or preparing to commit a criminal act, as well as a range of other tactics including search dogs and horses, police vehicles and utilising CCTV across the City Centre.

Officers will also be encouraging security staff, retailers and the public to be extra eyes and ears and report anything that doesn’t feel right

The project follows 17 other police forces, including the City of London Police which was the first to trial Project Servator in 2014.

Superintendent Chris Hill from GMP’s City of Manchester team said: “Project Servator is very much business as usual for the Force but we don’t want people to worry when they see extra officers out and about or more checks taking place.

“We are relying on the support of the public and local businesses to be our eyes and ears and help us to keep the city centre safe for everyone.

“This is all about working together to send a clear message to potential criminals – we are here, we’re watching and we will stop you.

“The patrols will happen anywhere across Greater Manchester at any time.

“Officers will also be handing out information about Project Servator to encourage people to remain vigilant and report anything that doesn’t feel right.

“If you have any concerns please talk to them or call us on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency. Alternatively you can report any suspicious activity at www.gov.uk/ACT or to the confidential hotline on 0800 789 321.”

The city-wide initiative was launched at Manchester Arndale on Tuesday morning.

David Allinson, Centre Director at Manchester Arndale, said: “We have a close working relationship with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and are pleased to support the roll-out of Project Servator – a police patrol designed to provide visible reassurance to Manchester’s residents and visitors.

“We look forward to building on our long-standing partnership with GMP and supporting officers as they patrol the centre and other key locations across the city.”

Deputy of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “This is a positive police operation that has proved successful in other areas, so I’m pleased to see it launched in Manchester city centre. The public have been telling us that they want to see more visible policing and this operation will help to reassure them that the police are committed to keeping us safe, whilst sending a strong message to criminals that they are not welcome here.

“I also encourage the public to work with the police and report anything suspicious. By working together we can make our streets and communities safer and more secure.”

GMP is encouraging everyone 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

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