Number: D0200 Date Published: 25 March 2021 Version 6 – March 2021
1.0 Summary of Changes
This policy has been updated on its yearly review to amend the budget, within section 4.1, where costs incurred by officers deployed as negotiators comes from; now met from Operational Policing Command.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy explains how Essex Police will approach the deployment of Hostage and Crisis Negotiators. (Negotiators are referred to nationally as Hostage and Crisis Negotiators – the term Negotiator will be used henceforth in this document to mean Hostage and Crisis Negotiator).
The policy is primarily aimed at all Essex Police staff that are likely to be involved with any incidents whereby a negotiator could be deployed. These staff will include: Force Negotiators, Force Control Room Inspectors (Oscar 1), Force Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Commanders, Senior Investigating Officers and Technical Support Unit personnel.
Essex Police is committed, as part of its strategy to building a safe community, by ensuring that a high standard of service is given to those seeking the successful resolution of any incidents where life is at risk.
The role of hostage negotiator is recognised across the country as an invaluable option in the safe resolution of many incidents. These include suicide intervention; missing persons; political protests; people in crisis; offences of kidnap and/or extortion; criminal sieges; and, terrorist hostage situations.
Recent years have seen the gradual increase in demand for the deployment of appropriately trained negotiators. Not all such incidents involve the taking of hostages, but all are life threatening or display the potential for significant harm/damage to the community, a person or commercial enterprise. Negotiators can support an incident commander in saving life and minimising harm; gathering intelligence; and/or obtaining time to develop intelligence or other tactical options.
This policy may engage with any of the Articles of the Human Rights Act; however, it is not possible to predict the exact nature, or events, that combine to create such an incident. Everything within this policy, and related procedure, is drafted with the intention of improving police responses to the needs of the individual and/or our communities.
Any negotiation strategy set will be within the parameters of the law and will give due consideration for the right to life of all persons. (Article 2, European Convention on Human Rights).
The legal basis for this policy comes from the common law duty of the police to protect life and property and detect crime.
3.0 Statement of Policy
Essex Police will provide, and then regularly review and update, this policy and the procedure in respect of the deployment of negotiators.
Essex Police will comply with the principles of the National Deployment Model (outlined in the procedures document associated with this policy).
Essex Police will appoint, and maintain, a Force Negotiator Champion. This officer will be the HEAD OF OPC who is sufficiently senior in rank to promote the role of negotiation within the organisation and also able to exercise an appropriate degree of influence at the highest levels. Ideally, this person should be/have been an operational Negotiator although this is not essential. Essex Police is committed to the provision of appropriately trained and experienced negotiators to any other police force in the country that requires mutual aid support.
The appointment and selection of negotiators must be conducted in accordance with Force HR policies and procedure.
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
As new Force negotiators are selected and appointed there will be costs associated with appropriate training and equipment.
A new negotiator is entitled to an allowance for appropriate clothing via Uniform Stores where there is a specific entitlement set up (contact Uniform Stores Manager for advice on what is included). Allowance limits can be found within the Allowances, Expenses and Fees section of the Corporate Finance website.
For existing negotiators who have already had the original allowance and need to replace a piece of clothing you must apply to the forces CTNLO Inspector for consideration who will then liaise with Uniform Stores.
Any Time Off in Lieu accrued as a result of a deployment will be authorised in accordance with current Force policy. Any ‘on call’ allowance and overtime incurred should be coded to Internal Order code OPCA376. Any mileage or subsistence costs incurred by officers deployed as negotiators are claimed in the normal way via SAP expenses from corporately held budgets for expenses.
All staff should be aware of the existence of this policy and, where appropriate, be responsible for ensuring compliance. Maintaining Continual Professional Development (CPD) will be a key priority. This will include attendance at all of the relevant days of the Regional Refresher Training (this could be 3, 4 or 5 days dependent upon the level of qualification) and following similar obligations as Tactical Firearms’ Commanders (i.e. deployment on 2 x live negotiating jobs a year) and participation (i.e. role playing/negotiating or critiquing) on at least 1 x negotiator exercise/training day/course. A Negotiators’ Development log will be developed to record such CPD. The National Negotiating Group (NNG) set the expectation for yearly training by all negotiators. The training programme will be set by the Regional Negotiator Training Manager in conjunction with all Eastern Regional Negotiator Coordinator.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
There are no health and safety considerations associated with this policy. The assessment of any risk associated with the deployment of negotiators will be completed by the Operational Commander as part of the overall deployment strategy. Negotiators will receive health and safety training concerning their deployment including the requirement to work in high and exposed locations.
Officers deployed in this role have a responsibility to effectively implement their training and not to expose themselves to unnecessary risk.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2020
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Head of Operational Policing Command
Specialist Tactical (Silver) Commanders
LPA District Commanders
Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Health & Safety
Public Order & Firearms Training Inspector
Only including the below two this time, as only change is related to budget, none of the others need to comment on this.
Head of Operational Policing Command
6.0 Monitoring and Review
This policy will be monitored by the Force Negotiator Co-ordinator on an annual basis by examining the negotiator deployment returns and in liaison with relevant Operational heads of departments.
7.0 Related Force Policies or Related Procedures
D 0201 Procedure – Hostage and Crisis Negotiators
D 0400 Policy – Critical Incidents
D 0401 Procedure – Dealing with Critical Incidents
D 0500 Policy – Incident Command and Control
S 1701 Procedure/SOP – Kidnap and Abduction
8.0 Other Source Documents, e.g. Legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Partnership Agreements (if applicable)
The Human Rights Act 1998
NPIA Briefing Paper entitled ‘The Use of Negotiators by Incident Commanders’
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and 1986
Race Relations Act 1976 amended by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
Data Protection Act 2018
The Freedom of Information Act 2000
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
ACPO Manual of Guidance on Police Use of Firearms
Manual of Standards of Surveillance and Covert Surveillance Codes of Practice 2004
The Home Office Manual of Counter Terrorist Contingency Planning Guidance