CHESHIRE Police are now trialling new tactics – including patrols by firearms officers and dog units – in Warrington town centre.

Project Servator, which was previously trialled in Chester city centre in 2019, has rolled out in central Warrington this week.

The scheme is aimed at ‘disrupting a range of criminality including terrorism’ working alongside business, community groups and members of the public.

Plain clothes and ‘highly visibility’ officers will also be deployed in the area, with the programme also making use of CCTV and automatic number plate recognition technology.

Use of these measures can ‘happen anywhere and at any time and include police officers specially-trained to spot the tell-tale signs of individuals who may be planning to commit a crime’.

Chief inspector Neil Drum said: “I am really pleased to be trialling Project Servator in Warrington.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to talk to residents, visitors to the town centre and staff about the importance of being vigilant at all times and to work with them to keep everyone safe and add another layer of security to our existing policing methods.

“This isn’t in response to a particular threat, but something we’re trying out to see if it can further enhance our existing security measures.”

Golden Square Shopping Centre is among the scheme’s partners.

Warrington Guardian:

Centre director Ian Cox said: "We're fully supportive of this initiative and encourage all our staff, retailers and shoppers to assist in any way that they can to help keep our local community safe. If we've learnt anything from the last two years it's that looking out for one another has never been more important."

Inspector Ruth Atherton added: “The security of everyone who works and visits the town centre is important to us, which is why we’re working closely with Golden Square Shopping Centre, local shops, businesses and Warrington Borough Council to make Project Servator a success.

“Our town centre is an incredibly safe place, and this will further strengthen the visible and less visible measures already in place to keep everyone safe and secure.”