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TVP’s Project Vigilant trains officers in behavioural detection

The project has seen Home Office SWAN funding used to recruit a dedicated Sergeant and train 95 officers in behavioural detection normally deployed in CT policing.

A total of 201 men have been stopped as part of the project between July 23 2021 and March 23 2022 20 per cent of which had prior links to VAWG-related violence.

Of the 201 stops, 27 were related to harassment, stalking and unwanted behaviour, and 37 for loitering near to places where predatory behaviour has occurred previously. Six arrests were made as a consequence.

Officers are now additionally working with the British Transport Police to conduct joint deployments across the railway network in the Thames Valley.

Since October, £90,000 of Home Office funding was awarded to recruit a Sergeant and commission an academic evaluation into the effectiveness of the project.

SWAN (Safety of Women at Night) funding also trained 95 officers in behavioural detection. The training, which is nationally accredited and takes place over three days, is normally reserved for Counter Terrorism but has been adapted to cover predatory behaviour in the night time economy.

Project Vigilant was launched in 2019 and marked the first time the force had used covert tactics for sexual offences.

In 2020, the project won a crime prevention award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

In November of last year, the Met also launched a pilot Project Vigilant.

Detective Chief Inspector James Senior, TVP force tactical lead for Project Vigilant, said: “Since the re-opening of the night time economy in July last year, officers working on Project Vigilant have stopped over 200 people that have been displaying predatory or inappropriate behaviour.

“The operation aims to build public confidence, particularly in women being able to make reports to us, and we have had instances across the force where women have approached officers after they have intervened to report domestic abuse and sexual offending. This has led to violence against women and girls arrests relating to incidents they may never have reported."

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