Deployments across Belfast city centre detects suspicious behaviour and make arrest and seizure for Class A drugs
Earlier this year the Police Service of Northern Ireland commenced a trial of new safety and security deployments and policing tactics known as Project Servator.
Project Servator police deployments were originally introduced by City of London Police in February 2014. The policing tactic has since been adopted by 23 police forces and has resulted in hundreds of pieces of intelligence being gathered and arrests for various offences, including firearms and weapons offences, drugs, money laundering, robbery and theft. It has also been used at major events, including the Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, and locally at The Open Championship in Portrush.
Strategic lead for Project Servator Superintendent Pat Foy said; “Project Servator aims to disrupt a range of criminal activity while providing a reassuring presence for members of the public. My officers have been specially trained to spot tell-tale signs that someone is gathering information to help them plan or prepare to commit a crime and we will have deployments right across the Belfast Christmas Markets and the city centre.
“Project Servator patrols are highly visible and characterised by the use of a range of policing assets - dogs, vehicles, plain clothes officers – in an unpredictable way. If you see Project Servator officers across Belfast city centre, I can assure you there is nothing to worry about. They are normal police deployments there to keep you safe and are not in response to any specific threat.
“In the past week Tactical Support Group officers have made a number of arrests for possession of drugs, and seized a substantial quantity of Class A and Class C drugs and a number of offensive weapons.
“Last night, after Project Servator officers observed suspicious behaviour in Belfast city centre they searched and arrested a 32 year old male on suspicion of possession of suspected class A drugs with intent to supply. They also seized a small quantity of needles and drugs paraphernalia.
Superintendent Foy continued; “We are working closely with our partners, including Belfast Harbour Police, security staff and CCTV operators, local businesses and retailers and members of the public, to continue to keep people safe in Northern Ireland, protect everyone who lives, works or visits here and make it a difficult place for criminals and terrorists to operate.
“I would stress that we cannot do this alone. Members of the public have an important role to play in helping us keep people safe by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right. We rely on you to be our eyes and ears so please report any suspicious activity to police.”
Members of the public can report suspicious activity on the PSNI non-emergency number 101.
In an emergency always call 999.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.