Commonwealth Games 2022: Police reveal Project Servator safety plans with the Army
Specially-trained officers will be present in Birmingham to make the city safer.
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Officers worked together to deliver a safe Queen’s Baton Relay – part of the Commonwealth Games 2022 -- at Lichfield on Wednesday (July 21).
With more than 6,000 athletes and team officials starting to arrive in Birmingham, and an estimated one million people visiting the region over the period of the Games, the security operation is the biggest the West Midlands has ever seen and requires different, cross-discipline agencies to work together.
Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, Project Servator was launched. The project is made up of intelligence-led deployments and is designed to disrupt a range of crime while reassuring members of the public.
Mutual aid officers landed from City of London police, Metropolitan police, Scotland police, and Avon and Somerset police in Birmingham last week.
While West Midlands Police is the lead for the overall security of the event, as with all major events the force is also working closely with neighbouring forces, British Transport Police, fire and ambulance as well as members of the Armed Forces and private security to deliver a number of different functions.
The past weekend the officers from the various forces were out with West Midlands police on Project Servator operations.
Earlier this month, the West Midlands police announced 40 of their officers were out with the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay.
They are running every step of the way along with the baton and inspirational baton bearers.
What is Project Servator?
It aims to disrupt a range of criminal activity, including terrorism, and reassure the public. It includes experienced officers who are specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs that someone may be planning or preparing to commit a crime.
They work with partners, including other police forces, security teams, businesses, the public, staff and visitors, to continue to protect Defence sites, people and assets and everyone in the surrounding communities, making it difficult for criminals and terrorists to operate, according to the Ministry of Defence website.
In Birmingham, there will be uniformed and plain clothes officers patrolling the venues. West Midlands Police have revealed that they will have up to 3,000 officers working across the Games footprint during the event.
Around 1,000 local officers will be joined by over 2,000 officers from forces across the country on ‘mutual aid’. This includes officers from Police Scotland, Ministry of Defence Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Police Scotland.
The force explained that by using mutual aid officers helps them to ensure that police can continue to serve local communities during Games time aswell.
Those officers will be working alongside more than 4,000 private contract security staff, who have now been recruited and will support everyone at the Games.
As planned, Armed Forces personnel will support the security operation in official venues with specialist functions, using a partnership led approach similar to that seen at other major events, including in Scotland for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Additional Armed Forces personnel are on hand if required during the Games.
What have West Midlands Police and other security agencies said about their work during the Commonwealth Games in their own words?
Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward, Gold Commander for Birmingham 2022 commented: “West Midlands Police have been working on the security plans for Birmingham 2022 since the City won the bid back in 2017 and our partners have been part of that planning every step of the way.
“If you are visiting the Games, it’s likely you’ll see a number of different uniforms but we are all working together to deliver a safe and secure Birmingham 2022 for athletes, the Games family, spectators and the public.
“This joint approach to security has always been an important part of the overall security plan. We know there’s often a real interest in the military being involved with security of events but it’s standard practice for them to be part of the planning and delivery of events of this scale.
“It’s a great opportunity for our officers to get to work with military colleagues and officers and staff from so many different police forces and organisations and there’s a fantastic team spirit, not just inside the stadiums and venues but out on the streets with everyone working together towards the same goal, a safe and truly memorable Birmingham 2022.”
Ian Reid, CEO of Birmingham 2022 said: “West Midlands Police have been an integral part of the Games Partnership and they are ensuring that we deliver a safe and secure event.
“We are pleased to have the support of the military too, and spectators will see personnel in and around all of our venues, carrying out a variety of planned tasks.
“In addition, the private contract security companies we selected have prepared the thousands of staff they have recruited for the Games and the additional personnel that the military have on standby have given us peace of mind, as we know they can quickly mobilise and be on site to support our team and suppliers.”
Commander of the Armed Forces deployment, Brigadier Matt Pierson said: “I am delighted to be leading the Armed Forces’ contribution to the Commonwealth Games. We will play a small but important role in this fantastic sporting event, supporting West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council.
“Our personnel will be raising flags during medal ceremonies, supporting security efforts, and competing for medals. Sport, health and fitness are core elements of the Armed Forces community - this event shows who we are and what we do. I wish every success to those competing.”
If you see something suspicious, please tell a police officer, use the online form to tell them about possible terrorist activity or call the confidential Anti Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321, or if it’s an emergency, call 999.
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