On The Beat column with Supt Paula Booth

A dedicated team of officers will be working behind the scenes to co-ordinate the Tour de Yorkshire operation.
A dedicated team of officers will be working behind the scenes to co-ordinate the Tour de Yorkshire operation.

It’s almost here, folks – the fantastic Tour de Yorkshire!

This three-day event, which gets underway on the east coast on Friday 28 April and then heads to Harrogate on the Saturday, has fast become a firm favourite in the sporting calendar.

Huge crowds of spectators are again expected to line the route to witness first-hand the sheer speed, strength and determination of the riders as they race around the course.

The Tour de Yorkshire not only allows our communities to truly get involved in making the occasion so special and memorable, it also showcases the very best of what our glorious patch of Yorkshire has to offer to a world-wide TV audience.

As you can imagine, the work undertaken by the organisers, Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation, to make the race such a success is significant. Not to mention the wider support to the event from the vast array of volunteers, local authorities, community partners and the emergency services.

From a policing point of view, a dedicated team of officers from the four Yorkshire forces have been working hard behind the scenes for months to co-ordinate the police operation. The riders will again be escorted around the region by the ever-popular specialist police motorcyclists using rolling road closures.

This year, there will be an even greater emphasis on crowd safety and crime prevention – targeting everything from pickpocketing to terrorist activity.

A number of strands of activity are co-ordinated under Project Servator to achieve this, including:

• deployment of teams of police officers who are specially-trained in the latest techniques to detect criminals and identify those with criminal intent

• using an extensive network of CCTV cameras and working with CCTV operators to identify criminal activity and gather evidence

• developing a network of vigilance amongst staff, businesses and retailers raising awareness of how to report suspicious activity

• raising awareness of the public’s role in helping us to keep sites and crowded places safe and how to be vigilant for and report suspicious activity

These tactics, which North Yorkshire Police is using for the Tour de Yorkshire, are proven to be effective in deterring and detecting criminals across a wide range of criminality, including those conducting “hostile reconnaissance”. This is the information gathering stage criminals and terrorists go through to select their target and plan their activity.

We call on you to be vigilant for, and report, anything suspicious immediately by:

• telling a police officer

• calling 101 or 999 if an emergency response is required

• calling the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321

There is no reason for you to be alarmed by this police activity. In fact, as it becomes a routine part of our job and public awareness of these tactics increases, we are confident you will be reassured that North Yorkshire Police is actively using best practice policing to keep you and your loved ones safe from harm.

Ultimately we, like all the other partners involved, want everyone who comes to experience the Tour de Yorkshire to thoroughly enjoy it in a safe environment.

You will see us providing a reassuring and visible presence, and we will be keeping a watchful eye over this magnificent event that we are very proud to support.