Officers trained to spot the signs of predatory behaviour will be on duty again this weekend to help create a safer night out for all celebrating seeing in the New Year.
The operation involved plain-clothed police officers, specially trained in behavioural detection, visiting pubs and clubs across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, to identify individuals who may be displaying concerning behaviour.
If they spot anyone, they will call on uniform colleagues to intervene to help prevent any criminal offences taking place.
The tactic, funded for by the Safer Streets 5 initiative granted to West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, has been shown to reduce violence against women and girls and aims to create a safer nighttime economy for all.
Superintendent Edward Hancox, head of prevention at West Mercia Police, said: “In the run up to Christmas plain clothed police officers specially trained to spot the signs of predatory behaviour carried out patrols throughout pubs and clubs in our towns and cities with great success.
“We know that most people go out and enjoy their evening without the need to cause any trouble. It is only a small minority who do create an unsafe environment for others by causing issues.
“Our message to these people was very much ‘we are looking out for you, and we will take action’.
“Over the weekend of the 14 and 15 of December the team made over 200 interactions with people.
“Offensive weapons were also recovered, and two men identified as potential offenders, one had to be physically restrained and arrested for being drunk and disorderly while the other was found to be wanted on warrant and arrested”.
Superintendent Hancox added: “These tactics have proved a success and the feedback officers received was extremely positive. I am pleased we are once again using preventative measures to make a night out safer for all to enjoy.
“Along with extra police officers on duty this weekend as part of Operation Christmas Presence, I am confident that this will help keep people safer during some of the busiest nights of the year in town and city centres across West Mercia Police’s force area”.