Luton Airport police adopt new counter terrorism tactic

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Police officers at Luton Airport today launched new counter-terrorism tactics aimed at stopping terrorists and criminals.

Bedfordshire Police’s Airport Policing Unit has formally adopted Project Servator - a national tactic which sees police officers supported by detection dogs, armed officers, vehicle checkpoints, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and CCTV.

Project Servator can be deployed at any time across the airport, with officers specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may have criminal intent.

Inspector Ian Taylor said: “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 are evolving as a workforce to combat the criminal activity we may encounter at the airport.

“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, unusual or doesn’t seem to fit with day-to-day life.”

Since a trial began in June, the tactics have proved 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 Luton Airport, said: “The safety and security of our staff and passengers is our number one priority and we are pleased to support Bedfordshire Police in their adoption of Project Servator.

“We believe this very public approach to security will not only serve as a deterrent, but also provide daily reassurance to the many thousands who work at or travel from London Luton Airport”.

The public’s support and help with Project Servator is key for its success. Travellers are encouraged to play a vital role by being vigilant when at the airport and report anything that doesn’t feel right, for example an unattended item or someone acting suspiciously.

Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.