Police officers, some on horseback, have been engaging with members of the public in Corn Street and in Wapping Wharf.
People on social media have suggested officers are in the centre to ensure social distancing measures are being adhered to.
But Avon and Somerset Police told Bristol Live they are in fact carrying out Project Servator in the city.
A spokesperson for the force said: “This is a Project Servator deployment. There’s information about the project
Project Servator is the name given to “unpredictable, highly visible police deployments” that are “designed to disrupt a wide range of criminal activity”.
It aims to stop the information-gathering a criminal does when planning to commit a criminal act, including terrorist attacks.
Avon and Somerset Police say people should not be worried if they see a Project Servator deployment in their area, as they are carried out at random locations at any time.
Its guidance states: “We are there to keep you safe. We encourage the public to speak to officers during deployments and they’ll be happy to explain what they’re doing and answer any questions you have.”
The Government has also reassured people not to be concerned.
“If a Project Servator deployment is happening where you are, there’s nothing to worry about,” reads information on its website.
“They involve both uniformed and plain clothes officers who are specially trained to spot the tell-tale signs that an individual may have criminal intent.
“They are supported by other resources, such as police dogs, armed officers, CCTV operators, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and vehicle checkpoints.
“The approach relies on police working together with the community – businesses, partners and members of the public – to build a network of vigilance and encourage suspicious activity to be reported.
“Project Servator has been successful in gathering intelligence that has assisted Counter Terrorism Units across the UK in investigating and preventing acts of terror. It has resulted in many arrests for a multitude of offences and is responsible for removing firearms, knives and drugs from the streets.”
Avon and Somerset are also urging members of the public to help, by being vigilant when out and about and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right.
#projectservator #avonandsomersetpolice #bristol
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