Extra uniformed and undercover officers were out on the streets of a North Yorkshire town today in the latest stage of an “unpredictable policing” project to make life difficult for criminals.
They patrolled key areas of Catterick, home to Europe’s largest military base, including Princes Gate, Richmondshire Walk and the Munster Barracks as part of the recently-launched Project Servator.
The scheme is already part of regular business for a number of other forces, including British Transport Police, Essex Police, Ministry of Defence Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
It was launched locally last month in York, where armed police, dog handlers and mounted officers were on the streets and a police helicopter hovered above the city.
Officers have teamed up with military police at Catterick and deploying Automatic Number Plate Recognition and CCTV cameras in crowded places.
Superintendent Mark Grange of North Yorkshire Police, Strategic Lead for Project Servator, said check-points were in place around Catterick Garrison and on public roads.
But he said the measures were not in response to any specific threat to the military base or any others around North Yorkshire.
Inspector Dave Edwards, of North Yorkshire Police’s Proactive Policing Command, said: “Project Servator enhances our existing crime prevention and public safety tactics and is being rolled-out in town centres and events across the county like we’ve seen in Catterick.
“Our officers have already been engaging with businesses and the local community over the last month to introduce them to the concept and to explain the vital role that they have to play.
“Our deployments are designed to be unpredictable and can turn up at any time. One day our tactics may be highly visible, the next we will be working in a more covert way.
“We’ve got strong working relationships with security teams across Catterick including The Royal Military Police and CCTV teams and by collaborating with partners such as these, and the communities that we serve, we are creating a surveillance resource that is second to none.”
Lieutenant Colonel Joe Jordan, Commander at Catterick Garrison said: “We’re dedicated to protecting those who live in and visit Catterick and surrounding areas.
“Project Servator involves us working together with the police in a proactive and approachable way and with surrounding communities to report suspicious activity.
“People in the community know when something is out of the ordinary but haven’t always known what to do or how to report it in the past.
“This is a chance to build on the community spirit of Catterick and encourage them to be our eyes and ears.”