Police officers mounted on horseback have urged citizens of Sheffield to report suspicious behaviour as their new operation named Project Servator.
The officers were in the city on Monday in Tudor Square to engage with the public. People were encouraged to come and stroke the horses and talk to police. Multiple police officers were also giving out leaflets and eagerly engaging with passers-by.
Project Servator is an initiative that is used across the UK in response to combating criminality, especially terrorism.
Police intent to work alongside the public to make them feel comfortable and safer when reporting unusual behaviour.
Inspector Dan Garside, from South Yorkshire Police, said: “Reporting may not ruin lives, but not reporting may do.”
In addition to the uniformed officers on show there were also many plain clothed police officers patrolling the city centre.
A police officer in Tudor Square today accompanied by his four-legged friend said: “ So what it actually does is that if you walked into this square and you had loads of drugs on you it changes your behaviour slightly when you see loads of police everywhere.”
He added: “The plain clothed officers are trained to look for these changes in behaviour.”
Officers will be stationed all across the city of Sheffield, especially in more crowded areas or during a major event to install safety and “in the most dramatic turn of events, prevent a bomb”.
He said that other popup events like the one held on Monday would be staged across the region as there is no fixed time or place to prevent people from considering committing a crime.
This officer said he believes that if there had been a stronger network of police and people had been more inclined to look out for and report suspicious behaviour, disasters like the Manchester bombings could have been potentially prevented.
The idea is to avoid any repetitions of this.
The South Yorkshire police officers involved in this project are being trained by the Metropolitan London Police.
The leaflets given out displayed the projects slogan “Together, we’ve got it covered”.
Visit https://www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/counter-terrorism/project-servator/ for more information on Project Servator where there is also a link to a video.
If you detect suspicious behaviour or need the police call 101 or visit https://www.southyorks.police.uk/ and in case of emergency always call 999.