Open letter regarding ‘Project Servator’

FAO Greater Manchester Police


We, the undersigned, are concerned about the implementation of ‘Project Servator’ in the city of Manchester. We are more concerned about the unwillingness of Greater Manchester Police to justify this practice, or to respond to the legitimate concerns of the community.


In a statement on Project Servator, the Northern Police Monitoring Project drew attention to a  video tweeted by Greater Manchester Police (@GMpolice) which showed uniformed officers handing out leaflets in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre. In the video, Superintendent Chris Hill stated that those who do not want to engage with leafleting officers would be ‘watched’ by plain-clothes officers. He has also urged the public not to worry about more ‘checks’ taking place.


We echo the contention of the Northern Police Monitoring Project that the public have the right to go about their daily lives without fear of state monitoring and surveillance. When individuals are not obligated to engage with the police, they have a choice, and choosing not to should not be grounds for suspicion. Whether in a rush or averse to leaflets, there are countless reasons individuals may choose not to engage with leafleting officers. Given the harm that over-policing has caused to many communities, we would even suggest that a direct desire not to engage with the police could be entirely justifiable and should not be grounds for suspicion.


Tactics like ‘stop and search’ have been shown to criminalise people and communities, without leading to effective crime prevention. ‘Project Servator’ is another example of police forces monitoring and imposing themselves upon individuals without any legitimate justification. ‘Project Servator’ presents itself as the police and community working together, but there can be no true partnership when individuals who do not participate are deemed potentially criminal. Given that GMP seek to present itself in this way, we are particularly disappointed that there has been no response to concerns raised and no attempt to justify this practice.


We hope that the public will continue to question this practice and believe that policing cannot continue without accountability. We call upon Greater Manchester Police to respond to our concerns and to end Project Servator.



  1. Northern Police Monitoring Project
  2. Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, (Northern Police Monitoring Project; Racial Justice Network; University of Manchester)
  3. Dr Laura Connelly (Northern Police Monitoring Project)
  4. Dr Tanzil Chowdhury (Northern Police Monitoring Project, Queen Mary University of London)
  5. Ilyas Nagdee, NUS Black Students Officer
  6. Dr Asim Qureshi, Research Director, CAGE
  7. Ewa Jasiewicz, Writer and Union Organiser
  8. Jas Nijjar (Brunel University London)
  9. Roxy Legane (Kids of Colour)
  10. Zita Holbourne, National Chair BARAC UK & National Vice President, PCS union
  11. Dr Meghan Tinsley (University of Manchester)
  12. Dr Kate Hardy, Associate Professor, Leeds University Business School
  13. Dr Patrick Williams (Sites of Resistance, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  14. Scarlet Harris (University of Glasgow)
  15. Lee Jasper, Former London Deputy Mayor, Blacksox Sponsor
  16. Hamish Reid, University of Nottingham
  17. Dr Lisa Long (Leeds Beckett University)
  18. Dr Adam Elliott-Cooper (King’s College London)
  19. Peninah Wangari-Jones (Racial Justice Network)
  20. Lowkey (HipHop Artist)
  21. Chantelle Lewis (PhD researcher, Goldsmiths)
  22. Dr Waqas Tufail (Leeds Beckett University)
  23. Dr Azeezat Johnson (QMUL)
  24. Jessica Perera (Institute of Race Relations)
  25. Yusef Bakkali (Birmingham City University)
  26. Katrina Ffrench, Chief Executive – StopWatch
  27. Dr Jamie Woodcock (University of Oxford)
  28. Dr Musab Younis, (Queen Mary University of London)
  29. Dr John Narayan (Birmingham City University)
  30. Hafsah Aneela Bashir ( Poet, Playwright, Co-Director of Outside The Frame Arts )
  31. Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick)
  32. Dr Gary Anderson, Senior Lecturer Drama, Liverpool Hope University
  33. Dr Niamh Malone, Senior Lecturer Drama, Liverpool Hope University
  34. Dr Necla Açik (University of Manchester)
  35. Manchester Momentum
  36. Afshan D’souza-Lodhi (Northern Police Monitoring Project, poet and playwright)
  37. Dr Katy Sian (Northern Police Monitoring Project, University of York)
  38. Ian Allinson (former candidate for Unite General Secretary, Manchester)
  39. Kojo Kyerewaa, (Black Lives Matter UK)
  40. Guy Parker
  41. James Chambers
  42. Mea Aitken (Kids of Colour)
  43. Fowsia Cansuur (Kids of Colour)
  44. Clara Paillard (PCS union, President of Culture Group, personal capacity)
  45. Farzana Khan (Director, Healing Justice London, Fellow International Curators Forum)
  46. Right to Remain
  47. Dr Kim Foale (Geeks for Social Change)
  48. Liz Fekete, Director Institute of Race Relations
  49. Dr Kerry Pimblott (University of Manchester)
  50. Becky Clarke (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  51. Dr Karis Campion (University of Manchester)
  52. Dr Samantha Fletcher (Lecturer in Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  53. Dr Helen Monk (Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University)
  54. Isobel Cecil (PCS Union, youth engagement worker)
  55. Niamh Eastwood, Executive Director, Release
  56. Y-Stop
  57. Sharon Adetoro
  58. Opemiposi Adegbulu (Lecturer, University of Huddersfield)
  59. Dr Charlie Ingham (Clinical Psychologist).
  60. Ashli Mullen (University of Glasgow)
  61. CAGE
  62. Abigail Stark, University of Central Lancashire
  63. Dr Lauren Wroe, Social Workers Without Borders
  64. Rob Dawson
  65. Dr Philippa Tomczak, University of Nottingham
  66. Ryan Bradshaw (Solicitor, Leigh Day)
  67. Simon Pook (Human and Civil Rights Solicitor, Robert Lizar Solicitor)
  68. Sue Lees (retired resident of Greater Manchester)
  69. Paul Duggan (retired resident of Greater Manchester)
  70. Phil Edwards (Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University)
  71. Dr Sadia Habib
  72. Mx Dennis Queen, Disabled Activist, GMCDP (Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People) and MDPAC (Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts)
  73. Michael Etienne, Barrister
  74. Black Lives Matter UK
  75. Lara Datta
  76. Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts (MDPAC)
  77. Rose Arnold, Rising Up! Manchester Families
  78. Dr James Trafford (University of the Creative Arts)
  79. Max Farrar (Emeritus Professor Leeds Beckett University)
  80. Melz Owusu (Kinfolk Network)
  81. Tom Kemp (University of Kent)
  82. George Grace (Next to Nowhere, Liverpool)
  83. Sisters Uncut Manchester
  84. Dr Fahid Qurashi, Lecturer in Sociology
  85. Marion Dawson, activist, Smash IPP
  86. Anandi Ramamurthy
  87. Lani Parker on behalf of sisters of Frida
  88. Jan Cunliffe Co Founder JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association)
  89. SuAndi Black Arts Alliance
  90. Dr Rajesh Patel, Senior Lecturer Manchester Metropolitan University
  91. Sisters Uncut Leeds
  92. Dr Rizwaan Sabir (Liverpool John Moores University)
  93. Viji Kuppan
  94. Dr Jason Arday