Assistant Commissioner Alistair Sutherland City of London Police: An update
Assistant Commissioner Alistair Sutherland City of London Police writes exclusively in his first column in City Security magazine.
Welcome to the first of my regular columns for City Security, where I will be keeping you updated on how we at the City of London Police are progressing in our ambition to make the Square Mile the safest city area in the world, as part of our corporate plan over the next three to five years.
We know that achieving this won’t be easy and there will be challenges along the way, but we are confident that by working with our partners and the wider community and implementing some of the exciting developments on the horizon in 2020, we will move closer towards our goal.
By the middle of the year, if you live or work in the City, you will begin to see a difference in the way we deliver our policing services.
Our policing teams will move to covering geographical sectors, each with a senior officer who is responsible for their sector and accountable to the residents, workers and stakeholders within it. On a day-to-day level, you should notice officers out and about more often and taking opportunities to become more involved in the community fighting crime.
Our enhanced focus will be on reducing and preventing crime. We will continue working with our partners, including other police forces and emergency services, the City of London Corporation and businesses, to identify and address current and emerging crime trends and use innovative methods to keep the City safe. We are embracing cutting-edge technology, with an enhanced security zone incorporated into a programme of work to improve the City’s use of innovative technologies and strategies and create a ‘smarter’ City, as part of the Secure City programme.
Sector teams will be supported by a range of policing colleagues, including those focusing on investigations, intelligence, specialist operations, road traffic, public order and tactical firearms officers.
We will also seek to make better use of our wonderful police service volunteers and specials who so generously give up their own time to help us achieve our aim.
There will be a significant increase in the number of police officers working in the City, as part of an uplift of 100 officers, which includes Project Servator officers who are specially trained to spot the signs that someone may be planning or preparing to commit a crime, and highly skilled firearms officers.
We only have to look at terrible incidents on our own doorstep, like the attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in November, to be reminded of the ever-present terrorist threat that we face and the professionalism and speed of response shown by our officers who arrived at the scene and confronted the attacker, together with courageous members of the public, without a thought for their own safety.
In the face of such threats, we are resilient and, after an attack, daily life resumes fairly quickly. But we cannot be complacent.
The Fishmongers’ Hall attack happened just a few weeks after the threat to the UK from international terrorism was lowered from severe to substantial, meaning an attack is likely.
As a global financial powerhouse, drawing in hundreds of thousands of workers every weekday, the City of London will always be an attractive target for those seeking to cause harm.
In order to counter this threat and protect not only the people who live and work here but the UK’s financial interests, we are constantly striving to improve how and when we share intelligence with our partners, particularly in the security industry.
We are acutely aware that cooperation between the public, commercial organisations, partner agencies and the police remains the greatest advantage in tackling the challenge the UK faces from terrorism.
If you want to learn more about how you can work with us in this area, please contact our corporate plan team: COLPCorporatePlanEnquiries@cityoflondon.police.uk
And it is in that spirit of cooperation that we intend to make the Square Mile the safest city area in the world.
As we progress through 2020, I hope to be able to share more insights into how we are doing and will be delighted if you can join us on our journey.