PROJECT SERVATOR – Q&A
“In today’s climate, security should be everyone’s business, and our community has a key role to play. We can ALL be Gibraltar’s Eyes & Ears by trusting our instincts and reporting any suspicious behaviour to help keep Gibraltar safe.” DI Paul Chipolina – RGP Crime & Protective Services Division
What is Project Servator?
Project Servator is a strategic method of policing that has been launched across various locations in the United Kingdom, with Gibraltar currently the only location outside mainland UK where this project has been approved for implementation. Servator involves tactics developed and tested by experts at the UK Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, and used by Police to deter, detect & disrupt criminal activity, ranging from pick-pocketing to terrorism. These tactics provide a visible and reassuring presence for residents, visitors and staff from premises in any given area. Working together, we can ALL help to deter criminal activity and disrupt hostile reconnaissance within our community.
What is Hostile Reconnaissance?
It is activity conducted as part of the planning of a criminal or terrorist act, such as visiting a particular site several times to assist in putting together detailed plans, to subsequently carry out pick-pocketing, a robbery or a terrorist attack.
What does the name “Servator” mean?
Servator translates from Latin as “watcher, observer, preserver or saviour.”
What are the project’s key messages?
To begin with, it’s important to stress that this is very much business as usual and that there is nothing to worry about. These deployments are normal police operations that are designed to deter and detect criminality. They are unpredictable, and therefore unannounced, so can happen anywhere and at any time, sometimes more visibly than others. Everyone has a role to play, and we encourage everyone to “trust their instincts” and form part of our Eyes & Ears partnership by reporting suspicious behaviour.
What can we expect to see across Gibraltar?
The nature of these unpredictable deployments make this question difficult to answer. We may be operating in an area once or several times in the same day, and then not appear in that area for several days or even weeks. Officers deploy in daylight and at night, weekdays and weekends, operating on foot, or at a vehicle checkpoint, with some officers more visible than others, and supported by various specialist resources. Project Servator officers speak 5 languages.
How is the RGP creating awareness about this project?
This article is one example of awareness. In all Servator deployments, visible signs are positioned close to officers who will be distributing posters to premises and engaging staff. Officers will also be handing out leaflets and handbills to visitors and residents. All Servator police forces have dedicated website pages with information, and leaflets are available at our public counters. Project Servator deployments by police forces that have already been accredited through training (across the UK and Gibraltar) are supported online by messaging on Twitter and Facebook accounts with the hashtag #ProjectServator.
What are the benefits of this Project?
This method of policing aims to provide reassurance to visitors, residents and staff from businesses close to the areas of deployment, as well as deterrence and detection of criminality. Ultimately its about creating a safe environment in which to live, work and visit, and at the same time, a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.
How can anyone help?
No matter how trivial you think something may seem, if something feels suspicious, then trust your instincts and report it. You just never know; your information could be crucial in preventing or detecting crime or terrorism.
How can anyone learn more about Servator?
Feel free to approach any of our officers during their deployments and they’ll be more than happy to talk about Servator. You can contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.police.gi where you can also download leaflets and posters. You can follow us on twitter @rgpolice (hashtag #ProjectServator) or via our facebook page www.facebook.com/royalgibpolice
A quick online search will reveal information on Project Servator via the websites of participating UK Police Forces or even the dedicated wikipedia page.