A POLICE tactic used to disrupt criminal activity - including terrorism - is being trialled in Chester city centre.

The approach, named Project Servator, sees police, businesses, community partners and the public working together, is already in use in various parts of the UK, including across the whole of London after it was pioneered by the City of London Police in 2014.

Chester and District Standard:

Image: Cheshire Police

Project Servator sees the deployment of both highly visible and plain clothed police officers, supported by other resources such as dogs, firearms officers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV.

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.

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

Police will work with Chester West and Chester CCTV and the Cathedral to carry out deployments across city.

Superintendent Debbie Hooper said: “I am really pleased to be trialling Project Servator in Chester City Centre.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to talk to residents, visitors to the city and staff about the importance of being vigilant at all times, and to work with them to keep everyone safe and add another layer of security to our existing policing methods. This isn’t in response to a particular threat, but something we’re trying out to see if it can really enhance our existing security measures.”

Officers will also be talking to the public, including businesses, asking people to be our eyes and ears to keep people safe and encourage people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious. You can help by reporting any suspicious activity by speaking face to face with officers, or by calling police on 101. In an emergency, always call 999.

Chester Local Policing Unit Inspector Emma Parry said: “The security of everyone who works and visits the city centre is important to us, which is why we’re working closely with the cathedral, local shops, businesses and Chester West and Chester Council to make Project Servator a success.

“Chester City Centre is an incredibly safe place and this will further strengthen the visible and less visible measures already in place to keep everyone safe and secure.”

Find out more about Project Servator