London, Apr 5 (PTI) Scotland Yard today expanded the net of a specialist counter-terrorism tactic for the streets of London, which involves the deployment of specially-trained visible as well as plainclothes’ officers.

Project Servator, a policing tactic used to deter, detect and disrupt terrorism and a range of other criminality, has been piloted in parts of the British capital since November 2016 and will be operating across the whole city.

The deployments can happen anywhere, and at any time, and include police officers specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent.

Project Servator Metropolitan Police teams will work in partnership with hundreds of officers from the City of London Police, British Transport Police (BTP) and the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) to carry out deployments across London, including busy areas such as shopping centres, tourist attractions and transport hubs.

By being vigilant, we can all create a hostile environment for potential terrorists who may be considering their targets and for individuals looking to commit crime, said Superintendent Nick Aldworth, Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Project Servator teams.

Every day, Project Servator officers will enlist the help of businesses, security staff, community groups and members of the public to be vigilant and make it even harder for criminals, including terrorists, to succeed, he said.

According to the Met Police, Project Servator will involve the deployment of both highly visible and covert police officers, supported by other resources such as specially-trained dogs, Mounted Branch with officers on horseback, firearms officers, vehicle checkpoints, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV.

The tactics used have been developed and tested by security experts at the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) in partnership with the City of London Police.

The public shouldn’t be worried if a deployment happens in their area. In fact, I encourage anyone to talk to the officers to find out more. The public can help keep their community safe from terrorism by reporting anything that seems out of place, unusual, or doesn’t seem to fit with day-to-day life, said Supt Nick Aldworth.

Superintendent Helen Isaac, of the National Project Servator Team based at the City of London Police, added: Project Servator has been adopted by eight UK police forces since it was launched by City of London Police in 2014, with more to follow in 2018.

Officers have made arrests on suspicion of a wide range of offences and have taken drugs and weapons, including firearms and knives off the streets, seized uninsured vehicles and located wanted criminals. Hundreds of pieces of intelligence about criminal activity have been gathered and shared across policing. A key part of the project involves community engagement, with the public urged to report any suspicious activity or behaviour to a police officer, member of security staff, or to call local police.

Since the Met Police launched pilot teams in 2016, its Project Servator officers have gathered more than 500 pieces of intelligence about suspected criminal activity and conducted more than 550 searches, leading to 176 arrests for various offences including firearms and weapons offences, drugs, money laundering, robbery and theft.

On the rail network, British Transport Police have made 102 arrests since March 2017 most in London as a result of Project Servator deployments. In that time, they found 15 people wanted on warrant, recovered seven offensive weapons and gathered over 350 pieces of intelligence about suspected criminal activity.

Since February 2018, the Ministry of Defence Police have been carrying out deployments in and around Whitehall the heart of London’s political establishment, which includes Downing Street.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.