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PROJECT SERVATOR: Public welcome new police methods to deter, detect, disrupt crime on the rail network

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‘We love rush hour – it gives us 300,000 extra pairs of eyes’

That is the message from British Transport Police (BTP), which is using innovative new tactics, labelled Project Servator, to deter, detect and disrupt crime on the rail network.

Project Servator deployments are highly visible police patrols designed to identify and prevent a range of criminal activity, from pickpocketing and theft to more serious crimes, including terrorism.

They involve both uniformed and plain-clothed officers, supported by other resources, such as armed officers, police dogs, a network of CCTV cameras, and the thousands of rail staff we work alongside.

The new patrol methods were met with a positive response from members of the public who were surveyed during test deployments carried out at Waterloo, Euston and Paddington stations in London in September.

More than 700 people took part in a survey, which found the majority of respondents were reassured by the deployments.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas, said: “For members of the public, this could mean you see a highly visible presence of officers at your station more often.

“We will turn up unannounced at railway stations to carry out patrols. They could happen at any time, last for different amounts of time and involve varying numbers of officers and resources. The key to deterring, detecting and disrupting crime on the network is making our deployments unpredictable.

“Don’t be surprised or alarmed if you see a Project Servator deployment being carried out at your station. Our officers are there to keep you safe.

“You can play a vital role by being vigilant when you are travelling and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously. Don’t leave it to someone else to report it.”

Transport Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad said “Our foremost priority is the safety of the British public. These new high visibility police patrols will provide security and reassurance for all travellers.

“British Transport Police and railway staff play a vital role in preventing criminal activity on the network and it is important we work together to ensure security measures across the network are up to date.”


 ·         Project Servator deployments can happen anywhere and at any time. We won’t be telling anyone in advance when or where they will be, but you can expect to see them across the rail network.

·         Project Servator was introduced by City of London Police, who first adopted the collaborative community approach in early 2014, aimed at further protecting the City and reinforcing the existing ‘ring of steel’. It was also used during the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow by Police Scotland and partners in the summer of 2014, to build on and complement the Games’ safety and security plans.

·         As part of our planning process, we carried out test deployments at three London stations in September 2015. These were Waterloo, Euston and Paddington. At the same time, we surveyed 734 station users to find out whether the deployments achieved one of their aims which is to reassure the public. 78% of respondents agreed that they felt reassured by the deployments. 64% said they would be more likely to report unattended items and suspicious behaviour as a result.

·         We ask the public to help us keep the rail network safe and secure by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right. This could be an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously. They should:

  • Tell a police officer or member of rail staff
  • Call us on 0800 40 50 40
  • Text 61016
  • Call 999 in an emergency
  • Call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321
 For more information, see our Project Servator page.

For more information contact:

John Ellul
British Transport Police - National Pressdesk
0300 123 9104

For the latest news, updates and insight, follow BTP on Twitter: @BTP.

British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents, and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland, including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems. Its 2,972 police officers, 323 Police Community Support Officers, 247 Special Constables and 1,533 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at

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