The Met’s transport division has launched a counter-terrorist unit to protect the capital’s transport hubs from attacks and criminal behaviour.
The Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) is launching its own teams under the flag of Project Servator, a counter-terrorism initiative designed to disrupt terrorism and criminal activity while reassuring the public.
Newly trained officers are tasked with spotting any tell-tale signs that someone is planning or preparing to commit a criminal or terrorist act.
They will be located on roads, buses, at bus stations, bus stops, and transport interchanges.
Officers will also stop vehicles at key points across London.
Patrols include a mix of uniformed and plain-clothes officers who can show up at any time and in any location.
Inspector James Beattie, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said “Don’t be surprised if you see us pop up. It is nothing to worry about and we will be talking to members of the public and urging them to help us.
“This is good news for the travelling public and bad news for anyone with terrorist or criminal intent. Defeating terrorism requires a collective community effort where police, security staff, retail workers and the public come together to minimise the chance of attacks.
“The cooperation between the public and the police is a powerful defence against terrorism.”
The Met said the initiative was not in response to any particular increased threat.
A Metropoiltan Police spokesperson said: “Obviously the wider terrorism threat level has increased to severe in the past month or so, but we are not launching this team now because there is any specific threat to the transport network.”
During deployments, officers can also work from CCTV control rooms to monitor activity.
These officers are supported by a range of other police resources such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), armed response units, and sniffer dogs.
Officers will simultaneously speak to people in and around the places they operate, including business owners and staff, community partners and members of the public.
The new team aid current Project Servator patrols in busy areas such as shopping centres, tourist attractions, the Square Mile, and the capital’s airports.
They will work in partnership with other Project Servator teams across the Met, City of London Police, British Transport Police and the Ministry of Defence Police.
The Met’s Project Servator teams have been operating across London since April 2018.
Between then and November 2020, they arrested over 1,000 people and have gathered over 2,000 pieces of intelligence relating to crime.
Find out more about Project Servator here or search #ProjectServator on social media.
If you see or hear something suspicious, trust your instincts and ACT (Action Counters Terrorism). You can report in confidence at www.gov.uk/ACT or by calling 0800 789 321.
In an emergency always dial 999.
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