Police in Peterborough targeting drinks spiking and ‘predatory behaviour’ speak to dozens of people

Police have started an operation targeting drinks spiking and predatory behaviour and say they spoke to 28 people in Peterborough over the weekend.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 6:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 6:31 am
Police posted this image on social media of officers visiting a club in Cambridgeshire at the weekend.

The new operation aims to tackle ‘predatory’ behaviour that could lead to sexual offences or harassment.

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held on Friday and Saturday nights (10 and 11 December) in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres.

Both uniformed and plain-clothed police officers carried out patrols of high-footfall areas around bars, pubs and clubs in the cities, on the look out for anyone displaying concerning behaviour such as loitering without reason, making unwanted contact towards people or aggressive or dominating behaviour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police have been carrying out extra patrols in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire as part of Operatoin Armour

A total of 38 people were engaged with by officers – 10 in Cambridge and 28 in Peterborough.

Of these, many had a genuine reason to be in the city and no action was taken against them, however four people were ‘dispersed’ and made to leave the area, and others were given words of advice.

Inspector Ian Lombardo who is leading Operation Armour said: “A section 34 dispersal authority was in place which gave our officers additional powers to be able to remove a person from the city centres should they have concern about their behaviour. Anyone who was dispersed could then be arrested if they were to return to the exclusion zone while the authority is in place.

“We are committed to ensuring the local community can have an enjoyable night out without the fear of being sexually assaulted and through this work using undercover officers and CCTV operators, we are able to witness this behaviour first-hand and intervene more quickly.

“Our officers came across a number of people in both cities who were alone – while we are targeting offenders of potential sexual assault, my plea is for people to look out for their friends and colleagues when on a night out. If someone is a little worse for wear, please don’t leave them on their own as this makes them more vulnerable to potential predators but also puts their own health at risk.”

A significant amount of funding has been obtained through the Home Office’s Safer Streets 3 initiative to support the operation and help address the issue of violence against women and girls in Cambridgeshire.

Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston said: “This positive campaign is part of the county’s successful bid to the Home Office’s Safer Streets 3 fund. Everyone has a right to feel safe in their community and that includes anyone who wants to enjoy our county’s nightlife.

“In Cambridgeshire, I’m keen that we focus on what we are doing to target the perpetrators to prevent crimes against women and girls. Operation Armour aims to do just that.”

Members of the public are being asked to let police across the country know if there are any particular areas they don’t feel safe. This can be done anonymously via https://www.police.uk/streetsafe.