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Project Servator

What is Project Servator?

Project Servator is the name given to unpredictable, highly visible police deployments, designed to deter, detect and disrupt a wide range of criminal activity.

The tactics are designed to deny, disrupt and detect hostile reconnaissance that may be carried out.

They involve specially-trained officers, both uniformed and plain clothed, supported by other resources, such as police dogs. 

Security and retail staff work in partnership with the deployments through continuous vigilance and regular communication and regular reporting of suspicious activity with our officers.

How does it work?

We will turn up unannounced at various locations to carry out deployments. They will be unpredictable, so they could happen at any time, last for different amounts of time and involve varying numbers of officers and assets.

Should I be concerned if I see an officer?

No – our officers are there to keep you safe. You may also see or meet officers who will be happy to explain what we are doing and answer any questions you have. Feel free to talk to them if you want to find out more.

Working together

Businesses, security guards, and retailers have a vital role to play too. We rely on their support and vigilance to ensure our tactics in the fight against crime are successful. We have a training initiative for security staff in the City to help protect the public by ensuring they know how to spot suspicious activity, and how to report it.

How you can help

You can play a vital role by being vigilant when you are out and about and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right. You’ll never get in trouble for reporting a genuine concern, and we’ll always take your report seriously – whether it’s an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously. Don’t leave it to someone else to report it.

  • Tell a police officer or member of security or retail staff
  • Call 101 (police non-emergency number)
  • Text 61016 (on a train, tube, or at a train station)
  • In an emergency, always call 999

Project Servator – did you know?

What does Servator mean?

Servator is Latin for watcher, observer, or preserver.

What is hostile reconnaissance? 

Hostile reconnaissance is the purposeful observation of people, places, vehicles and locations with the intention of collecting information to inform the planning of a hostile act against a target. Servator is designed to counter this activity.

When did Project Servator start?

The City of London Police was the first police force to introduce Servator deployments, in February 2014. This launch followed several years of planning and development with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI).

Who else employs Project Servator deployments?

Police Scotland used Servator at the Commonwealth Games 2014. British Transport Police introduced it on the UK’s rail network in December 2015. The Metropolitan Police Service began trialling its use in two boroughs in November 2016 and now have a large number of teams deploying over London. It is also used by a number of other UK police forces, including – 

  • North Yorkshire Police
  • Essex Police
  • Civil Nuclear Constabulary 
  • Ministry of Defence Police
  • Royal Gibraltar Police

What does the Servator logo represent?

The Servator logo depicts a police officer, police dog, and three other people, which could represent a member of the public, a security officer, or member of retail staff. This portrays the both the collaborative ethos behind Servator, plus the use of different police assets. 

Where can I find out more?

Further information on Project Servator is available.  

We are always looking for feedback, both good and bad. If you have any concerns or wish to discuss Project Servator, then please contact the Community Policing team on 020 7601 2452 or email community@cityoflondon.police.uk​.

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