London – A new police unit joined the British police force and began patrolling streets of London in an attempt to spot people carrying out “hostile reconnaissance” and other criminal activities.
Scotland Yard on Monday launched new anti-terrorism patrols by uniformed and undercover officers in London as part of its bid to disrupt potential terrorist activity and crime.
Scotland Yard’s spokesperson refused to reveal the number of CIDs in the streets, telling Asharq al-Awsat newspaper these are security matters that cannot be discussed.
Sources revealed there are about 10 thousand secret service members around the streets of London.
Scotland Yard stressed the move was “not in response to a specific threat”.
Lambeth and Wandsworth will be the first areas to see the new patrol units of uniformed and undercover officers and are due to be extended to other boroughs in the coming months.
Known as Operation Servator, it will be a tactic of policing that is 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. The Metropolitan Police stressed the new tactic was not in response to a specific threat and will be rolled out across other parts of London in coming months. “Keeping Londoners safe is the Mayor’s top priority and we know our emergency services do a great job every single day protecting our city.
Other units will also be available, including the dogs and boat units and the territorial support unit riot police.
Since August 2014, Britain had raised its threat level to four out of five, which refers to potential attack. After Paris attacks in November 2015, London equipped its police officers with semi-automatic weapons and tasers.
“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,” said Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
“I urge Londoners to remain alert and report anything suspicious to the police as they work to keep us all safe,” she added.
Linden urged Londoners to remain alert and report anything suspicious to the police as they work to keep everyone safe.
On Friday, Europol warned that ISIS terrorist group could launch attacks in Europe in the near future.
The agency’s director said police forces across the continent are investigating more than 50 terrorism cases.
European Union’s Police Agency (Europol) said that EU countries participating in the U.S.-led coalition in Syria and Iraq are most at risk.
The agency expects car bombs and other tactics ISIS uses in Iraq and Syria could also be deployed in Europe. The agency’s report mentioned that past attacks such as those in France and Belgium over the last two years show that extremists acting in the name of ISIS can effectively plan complex attacks.
The report noted that automatic firearms, knives and vehicles are more easily available and that “the effectiveness, ease of use and access of these weapons will continue to be relevant.”