Southend: Project Servator
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Southend has become the latest place in Essex to become part of Project Servator – a national initiative to deter and disrupt criminal activity, including terrorism.
Teams of officers have been given specialist training to spot signs that people are planning to commit crime and have already been working at Stansted Airport, Lakeside and in Colchester.
Southend’s first Servator patrol saw officers visit the shopping centres, High Street and seafront to provide a visible presence in areas popular with residents and day-trippers.
In the coming months, officers will continue to arrive unannounced at locations in the district and will be working with partner organisations, businesses and with the local community to remind everyone to be vigilant, trust their instincts and report any suspicious or unusual behaviour.
Inspector Paul Hogben is a part of the Southend Community Policing Team. He said:
“The aim of Project Servator is to reduce crime, increase the visible policing presence and reassure the community.
“We have chosen Southend because it’s a high footfall area. We get a lot of visitors but that means criminals travel here too.
“We will be deploying officers – with support from specialist units, including firearms and dog teams – in different areas at different times to deter criminal activity and help keep our communities safe.
“Our officers are trained to look for small indications that make people stand out, but a big part of the work is getting our partners and the community involved.
“We want members of the public to feel confident to come to us if they spot something that doesn’t look right. You don’t need to be trained to notice something out of the ordinary.”
If you see something suspicious, please tell a police officer, use our online form to tell us about possible terrorist activity, or call the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. If it's an emergency, always call 999.
You’ll find more information on what to look out for and how to report it at ACT - Action Counters Terrorism.