Patrols underway to tackle ‘predatory’ behaviour

Officers from Cambridgeshire police started Operation Armour in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres on December 10-11.

Officers from Cambridgeshire police started Operation Armour in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres on December 10-11. - Credit: POLICE

38 people were engaged with by Cambridgeshire police on December 10-11 as part of a new operation to tackle ‘predatory’ behaviour that could lead to sexual offences or harassment. 

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres. 

Both uniformed and plain-clothed officers carried out patrols of high-footfall areas around bars, pubs and clubs in the cities. 

They were on the lookout for anyone displaying concerning behaviour such as loitering without reason, making unwanted contact towards people or aggressive or dominating behaviour. 

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.” 

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres.

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres. - Credit: POLICE

10 people in Cambridge and 28 people in Peterborough were spoken to by officers. 

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

Others were given words of advice. 

Ian said: “We are committed to ensuring the local community can have an enjoyable night out without the fear of being sexually assaulted. 

“Through this work using undercover officers and CCTV operators, we are able to witness this behaviour first-hand and intervene more quickly. 

He added: “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.” 

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres.

The first weekend of Operation Armour was held in Peterborough and Cambridge city centres. - Credit: POLICE

Funding to support the operation has been obtained through the Home Office’s safer streets 3 initiative. 

Police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston said: “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.” 

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