Police are deploying a specialist team aiming to reduce night time crime in York and keep people safe.
These officers are trained to help prevent sexual offences and protect people in the city’s night-time economy.
North Yorkshire Police is taking up Project Vigilant. a scheme that began in the south of England, where officers seek out those who prey on vulnerable people in busy locations at night.
Thanks to specialist training, Project Vigilant officers are able to spot signs that identify someone who is in the area with a criminal intention.
Plain clothed officers will be sent to patrol potential trouble spots in the city, and will flag any person of concern to uniformed officers. Uniformed officers will then move in “to engage and where appropriate they will also take positive action”.
Project Vigilant police also aim to ensure vulnerable people in the night-time economy are kept safe.
Officers will reunite them with friends if they become separated, make sure they have a way to get home, or refer them to partner agencies such as the Street Angels or the Yorkshire Ambulance Service if there is a medical concern.
Project Vigilant deployments “are planned in York on a regular basis throughout the rest of the year,” say police.
Detective Chief Inspector Carol Kirk said: “York is a destination city with a vibrant night-time economy.
“On evenings and weekends – when we see the most activity – we deploy our new team of specially trained officers on Project Vigilant.
“The team is trained to use a variety of tactics to prevent sexual offending and protect vulnerable people.
“This deployment will help us ensure that we fulfil our commitment of making sure the public in York are safe and feel safe.”