| 09 June 2014
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
Vigilance can report that a major initiative designed to increase awareness of security and counter terrorism policing in London was launched today, Monday 9 June, by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), City of London Police (CoLP) and British Transport Police (BTP).
Vigilance learnt that the initiative - known as Operation Griffin - involves co-ordinated activity focused on reminding the public of the vital role they can play in helping to protect the capital.
According to a Met source activity will be taking place across all 32 boroughs between 9 June and 15 June 2014, with tactics including automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operations and high visibility patrols around crowded places such as shopping centres and transport hubs.
Vigilance learnt also that thousands of staff from businesses across London will also be briefed as part of Project Griffin, explaining the ongoing threat from terrorism and what they can do to protect themselves, their business and London. Operation Griffin is the police operational response to this established project.
Project Griffin events will be held at locations ranging from local shop owners in Sutton, to a large scale briefing with the business community at The Shard.
Briefings will also be held for officers and staff on every borough to highlight the key part they play in counter-terrorism policing by providing a link between national expertise and mainstream neighbourhood policing.
Commander Simon Bray, from Specialist Operations, said: "Everyone has a role to play in keeping London safe from terrorism. This operation sees specialist officers working closely with neighbourhood officers and communities raising awareness of security in London.
"We want to build on the success of Project Griffin and continue our engagement with communities and businesses in a variety of ways to counter the threat from terrorism. Our aim is to raise awareness and improve protection from a terrorist attack and other crimes.
"The threat to London from terrorism remains real and serious, so we encourage the public to remain vigilant and alert and to report anything suspicious to police."
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Thomas of British Transport Police (BTP) said: "This week-long initiative is designed to remind and inform the public and businesses about what we are doing to make London and its transport system as safe and secure as possible, and what they can do to help.”
ACC Thomas added: "Briefings will be taking place across London, and BTP officers will be providing information explaining the on-going threat from terrorism to transport providers and the travelling public.
"BTP uses a wide range of tactics as part of its counter terrorism activity and has vast experience in dealing with such threats.
"It is vitally important that we do not get complacent, and the vigilance of passengers and staff remains a crucial element. With more than six million people travelling every day, we have millions of eyes and ears across the whole system - a surveillance resource second to none."
Commander Richard Woolford of City of London Police said: "This year is the 10th anniversary of the highly successful and acclaimed Project Griffin, where the private sector and police work together in partnership, to ensure the City is safe and secure.”
Commander Woolford added: "We all have a role to play in being vigilant and alert to the threat of terrorism. It is crucial that not only the private sector and police do this; all communities, resident and transient need to work together to achieve a safe and secure capital."
The operation is being co-ordinated by Specialist Operations in partnership with local officers across the MPS.
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of Project Griffin, developed by the CoLP and MPS in April 2004. The project's remit is to advise and familiarise managers, security officers and employees of large public and private sector organisations across the capital on security, counter-terrorism and crime prevention issues
The MPS would like anyone with any information about unusual activity or behaviour to contact the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
In the event of an emergency always dial 999.
Further information is available at www.met.police.uk/terrorism
Further information about Project Griffin is available at http://www.projectgriffin.org.uk