Spiked drinks test kits and undercover officers part of new police operation in Peterborough

Undercover police officers and special tests to detect spiked drinks will be used in a new police campaign to clamp down on ‘predatory behaviour in Peterborough.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 5:00 am
Police will be launching Operation Armour. (Arcive image).

Cambridgeshire police said a new operation will target people displaying predatory behaviour that could lead to sexual offences or harassment.

Operation Armour will begin in December and run over the Christmas period and aim to prevent sexual offences in Peterborough and Cambridge.

The force said a combination of uniformed and undercover officers will carry out patrols to identify who may be displaying signs of predatory behaviour and take action, which may include arrest.

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The patrols will begin as the night time economy starts to increase and the Christmas party season gets going.

Taxi marshals and security door staff have received training to spot the signs of predatory behaviour and in Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE). There will also be increased CCTV operators on duty for the duration.

In addition, clubs in Cambridge and Peterborough will be issued drink testing kits following an increase in the number of reports of suspected drink spiking incidents in the county.

The kits have been provided by the Constabulary and test for various substances. These will allow drinks to be tested should there be a concern or a request made, it will not be mandatory for all drinks.

Inspector Ian Lombardo who is leading Operation Armour said: “The force are committed to ensuring the local community can have an enjoyable night out without the fear of being sexually assaulted.

“By deploying undercover officers this will mean we are able to witness this behaviour first hand and intervene more quickly.”

Superintendent Adam Gallop said: “We’re working closely with a host of partners across the county including licensees, licensing, the university and the councils to ensure that we keep people safer.

“My team and I are committed to ensuring the local community can have an enjoyable night out without the fear of being sexually assaulted.

“We are deploying additional officers who will be tasked with identifying potential perpetrators who are displaying signs of predatory behaviour such as loitering without good reason, or giving or approaching females with unwanted attention.

“We have also set up a dedicated investigation team to tackle the increased number of drink spiking reports and will be working with venues to regularly test drinks.

“Predatory behaviour is unacceptable and we work hard to safeguard potential victims and bring offenders to justice.

“We are committed to making the streets safer and this is just one way in which the force is making the streets a hostile place for potential sex offenders.

If you see someone acting suspiciously, please call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency or approach an officer. If you are out and feel unsafe you can also speak to the nearest pub or club staff member for assistance too.