A new style of policing is being deployed in York, to crack down on sexual predators and keep the streets safer at night.
North Yorkshire Police adopted Project Vigilant in the city for the first time over the bank holiday weekend.
This sees specially trained officers deployed into the night time economy to “identify, challenge and disrupt” people who exhibit signs of predatory sexual behaviours.
Using intelligence, Project Vigilant aims to ensure officers are in the right areas at the right times to prevent harm by targeting potential perpetrators and stopping them from offending.
York Commander Superintendent Fran Naughton said: “York is a fantastic city to enjoy a night out and with its reputation as being one of the safest, as well as one of the most historic and picturesque – it’s understandable that people travel from all across the UK and the world to visit.
“Sadly though, popular and busy places not only attract visitors – they also attract those who want to take advantage of those who are enjoying themselves.
“Project Vigilant is a great tactic that we can employ to detect and disrupt anyone displaying predatory behaviours and prevent harm from happening.
Victims of sexual crime
If you have been the victim of a sexual crime, but don’t want to speak to the police, you can see help and support from your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s SARC can be contacted on 0330 223 0362 or visit bridgehousesarc.org
“Plain clothes and uniformed officers work together with our other partner agencies and licensed premises to spot the early signs of harmful behaviour, share vital intelligence and be a reassuring presence in the city centre.”
Project Vigilant is a national policing project launched by Thames Valley Police in 2019.
Being based on intelligence, police are encouraging police to report any concerns they have either on 101 or to staff at a venue so that these can be investigated.
If you are in immediate danger always dial 999.
Supt Naughton said: “Online reporting tools such as StreetSafe are also a great way to report any places where you don’t feel safe. All the information reported is fed into Project Vigilant and helps us plan our next deployments.”