Anti-terror police units deployed on London's streets

Anti-terrorism police patrol units are hitting the streets of London in an attempt to spot people carrying out "hostile reconnaissance" and other criminal activity.

Lambeth and Wandsworth will be the first areas to see the new patrol units of uniformed and undercover officers from today, and are due to be extended to other boroughs in the coming months.

Scotland Yard stressed the move was "not in response to a specific threat".

Operation Servator, as it is known, is a tactic of policing already used by other forces including City of London and British Transport Police.

It "is based on extensive research into the psychology of criminals and what undermines their activities", the Metropolitan Police said.

Other units will also be available, including the dogs and boat units and the territorial support unit riot police.

Sophie Linden, London's deputy mayor for policing and crime, said keeping Londoners safe was London Mayor Sadiq Khan's "top priority".

She said: "We know our emergency services do a great job every single day protecting our city. However we cannot be complacent, which is why it is good to see the Met rolling out Project Servator to help deter and detect crime in our city's busiest areas.

"This tactic was endorsed by Lord Harris in his review of London's preparedness for a terror attack, commissioned by the mayor.

"I urge Londoners to remain alert and report anything suspicious to the police as they work to keep us all safe."

City of London Police introduced Servator tactics in February 2014, using undercover teams, CCTV and number plate recognition technology to add to the 1990s "ring of steel" in place around the Square Mile.

( Source )