MoD to step up anti-terrorism patrols outside Portsmouth Naval Base

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PATROLS are to be stepped up outside Portsmouth Naval Base, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.

The MoD is to deploy officers outside the base perimeter as part of ‘Project Servator’ - a new nationwide approach to detect crime and deter terrorism.

Deployments will be unannounced and take place at different locations at various times of day.

But the MoD says the action is not a response to a ‘specific threat’ and the operation is being used to deter, detect and disrupt any hostile activity intended to ‘threaten the security of the base and wider community.’

The deployments involve uniformed and plain-clothed officers and may be supported by armed officers, police dogs and search teams.

Where necessary, officers will approach the public and ask questions.

Control room staff will use CCTV and automatic number plate recognition systems to assist officers on the ground.

Inspector Tom Huntley, based at Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘Our deployments will be unpredictable and may be highly visible. We will turn up unannounced and each deployment could happen at any time, last for different lengths of time and involve varying numbers of officers and assets.’

Inspector Huntley stressed that the public should not be alarmed if they see a Project Servator operation taking place.

He said: ‘Our officers are there to keep the public safe – that is our priority.

‘We are there to engage with the public and answer any questions. In doing so we are working closely with the local community who are acting as extra eyes and ears.’

He is urging the public to play a supportive role by being vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t feel or look right.

They should call the MOD Police in Portsmouth on (02) 392 722 707 or 722823.