Bedfordshire Police’s Airport Policing Unit adopts Project Servator at London Luton Airport

Image supplied by London Luton Airport

Image supplied by London Luton Airport

Specialist counter-terrorism tactics specifically aimed at deterring potential terrorists and would-be criminals have now been adopted by Bedfordshire Police at London Luton Airport. Bedfordshire Police’s Airport Policing Unit has formally adopted Project Servator – a policing tactic used to detect and disrupt a range of criminality (including terrorism) – after a successful trial period.

A national tactic already used across a number of key sites, including transport hubs and across London, Project Servator sees the deployment of both highly visible and plain-clothed police officers supported by a wide range of other resources. These can include detection dogs, armed officers, vehicle checkpoints, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems and CCTV.

The deployments can happen anywhere and at any time across the airport footprint, and include police officers specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent on their mind.

Inspector Ian Taylor of the Airport Policing Unit explained: “Project Servator is a tried-and-tested tactic which brings together a wide range of policing resources, working alongside the additional eyes and ears of businesses, security staff, enthusiast groups and members of the public to make it even harder for criminals, including terrorists, to succeed. The safety and security of everyone within the airport, from visitors to members of staff, is our absolute priority and these new tactics will ensure that we’re evolving as a workforce to combat the criminal activity we may encounter at the airport.”

Inspector Taylor continued: “The deployments will form a key part of our activity at the airport and support the vital work the team already does on a daily basis to keep the site safe. The public shouldn’t be worried if they come across a deployment. In fact, I would encourage anyone to talk to the officers to find out more. The public can play a key role in keeping the airport community safe by reporting anything that seems out of place or unusual or simply doesn’t seem to fit with day-to-day life.”

Since a trial began in June, the tactics have proven to be successful. Results have included seizures totalling £15,000, arrests of people for a range of offences, vehicle seizures and a significant number of intelligence reports.

Neil Thompson, operations director at London Luton Airport, stated: “The safety and security of our staff and passengers is our foremost priority and we’re pleased to support Bedfordshire Police in its adoption of Project Servator. We believe that this very public approach towards security will not only serve as a deterrent, but also provide daily reassurances to the many thousands who work at or travel from and to London Luton Airport.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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