Number: D1000 Date Published: 10 December 2020 Version 6 – December 2020
1.0 Summary of Changes
This policy has been updated on its review as follows:
Within Section 3.2:
Reference to the Resilience Department added;
Contingency supervisor changed to resilience manager;
Reference to the Protective Services Policy and Programme Board removed and replaced with peer and partner reviews and plan validations.
2.0 What this Policy is About
This policy outlines the Essex Police approach to the Operations Centre (formally Operational Planning and Contingency Planning) the general principles and processes associated with delivery of planning within the police environment and Essex Police’s strategic commitment to delivering against one of the identified ten protective services key areas - Civil Contingencies.
The intention of the document is to ensure that Essex Police has an effective and measured planning response with the capability to support police led operations and public order/public safety events.
This policy also acts as the framework by which all Contingency Plans are prepared, audited, validated and tested within Essex Police. This policy ensures that Essex Police fulfils its obligations in terms of the exercising and testing of its emergency plans in order to comply as a Category One Responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA).
Compliance with this policy and any linked procedures is mandatory.
3.0 Statement of Policy
For ease of reading this section of policy is split into two functional areas, Operations Centre Planning and Operations Centre Contingency (including Business Continuity).
3.1 Operations Centre Planning
All police operational planning requests will be referred through the Operations Centre located within the Operational Policing Command. This team will carry out an assessment of the scale and likely impact of all events referred to them.
The Operations Centre, based on the assessment, will either adopt the event, taking responsibility for all aspects of planning (including debrief), or will return the event to the originator to manage. The Operations Centre will provide key support and advice for all events, even those it has not adopted and for all events requiring regional mobilisation support.
Events that will be typically adopted and managed by the Operations Centre are:
Any event that requires a formal Strategic/Tactical/Operational Command structure;
All football matches that require a police response;
All events held in recognised stadiums;
Relevant activities when a national move to ‘critical’ has been declared;
All Public Military Events (PME);
All countywide operations that require central coordination;
All mutual aid deployments into or out of Essex;
All custody and Essex Police Property searches;
All formal debriefs, irrespective if the original operation was adopted or not;
Any other operation as directed by the Force Strategic Commander (Gold).
Nothing contained within this policy is designed to curtail local commander’s ability to plan and run local operations with their own resources.
The Operations Centre will seek to encourage local or central engagement with partnership agencies through a Safety Advisory Group, providing assistance where required when the public wish to hold an event requiring public safety consideration. The Operations Centre will provide staff to attend all appropriate SAG meetings for adopted operations
In addition, the Operations Centre will aim to discharge the following core responsibilities:
Prevention and detection of crime;
Maintaining public order;
Traffic regulation within legal powers provided by statue;
The creation and activation of contingency plans where there is an immediate threat to life or a need co-ordinate emergency service activity;
Coordination of medium to long term logistics requirements;
The support of policing operations; from first inception to the completion of formal debrief and compilation of lessons learned;
Provide a centre of excellence to support police related operations across Essex.
Where an event is considered to be of particular national importance e.g., Armistice Day, officers may be required to undertake a role outside the core responsibilities listed above.
In achieving that aim Essex Police will ensure that:
The Operations Centre Officers are suitably trained, skilled and equipped to deliver operational plans;
Work is carried out within the Authorised Professional Practice and the identified Command Structure when planning, co-ordinating and delivering operational plans;
We plan and co-ordinate operations in a proportionate way and in line with core policing principals;
We ensure a consistent police approach to planning relating to public order/public safety events and police led operations throughout the County;
We encourage and participate in consultation with external agencies, local authorities, partners, event organisers and other interested parties to deliver effective plans;
We have established internal operational planning frameworks and processes for use as standard operating procedures;
We support the recovery of costs in accordance with force and national best practice advice
Essex Police reserves the right to charge for any services provided particularly where the service is in response to an event that is organised for private gain without a specific community benefit.
3.2 Operations Centre Emergency & Business Continuity Planning
The Essex Police Resilience Department will ensure that there is an effective process linked to the Civil Contingencies STRA to provide proportionate response plans to locations that have been identified as requiring such a plan.
This will inform any changes going forward.
In partnership with other agencies Essex Police will:
Actively participate in the multi-agency Local Resilience Forum (LRF) at all levels;
Contribute towards the ongoing development of a multi-agency Community Risk Register, via the Essex Resilience Forum;
Emergency Plans will be developed and maintained having regard to:
Legislation and guidance issued nationally;
Work streams being delivered by the LRF working groups and be cognisant of the Local Resilience Forum Community Risk Register.
Ensure the development and rehearsal of business continuity plans for circumstances when we are faced with emergencies, allowing us to discharge our responsibilities as a Category One responder;
Provide training to relevant staff via the testing of emergency plans and news/update articles using internal communications. Training opportunities via partner/external agencies will also be taken when available and appropriate;
Complete a rolling programme of testing and exercising to assess and develop the preparedness of our staff and plans;
Actively pursue organisational learning, development and continuous improvement through the analysis of local, regional, national and international operational events and exercise scenarios;
Put in place arrangements to make information available to the public about civil protection matters and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency.
The Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) (Criminal Justice, Operational Policing Command & Contact Management) is the strategic lead for civil contingencies and emergency planning and will promote these locally at Chief Officer level.
The Operation’s Centre Resilience Manager will provide the day-to-day management of the Emergency Planning function;
Quality assurance will be provided, internally, through peer and partner reviews and plan validations, and, externally, through the Executive Programme Board and Planning Assurance Group of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF).
Essex Police are required to test emergency plans ensuring they are effective, and that staff are trained concerning their responsibilities within the emergency plan. The specific role of exercising within Essex Police is:
To practice a combined response by all relevant organisations;
To confirm the procedures are suitable and cater for current requirements;
To illustrate Essex Police’s commitments to emergency planning;
To establish a quality control system by testing individual competence.
4.0 Implications of the Policy
4.1 Finance / Staffing / Training / Other
The development and training of the Operations Centre is the responsibly of the OPC Chief Inspector, Planning and Resource Management. All relevant training and continued professional development will be identified and requested by the Operational Planning Inspector.
Any costs incurred by the implementation of this policy will be met through existing and local budgets.
There is a legal requirement to exercise contingency plans and this places a financial burden on the Force. Compliance with this test requirement is the responsibility of the Chief Inspector, Planning and Resource Management.
4.2 Risk Assessment(s)
The policy has been specifically written to ensure that Essex Police maintains a strategic commitment to civil contingencies.
The continued development of the Community Risk Register is ongoing via the ERF.
Specific risk assessments will be developed for each Contingency Plan, to ensure the safety of Essex Police personnel, so far as is reasonably practicable.
4.3 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2020.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Essex Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Health & Safety
Strategic Change Team
6.0 Monitoring and Review
This policy will be monitored by the OPC Chief Inspector, Planning and Resource Management on behalf of the OPC Head of Force Control Room, Central Resourcing Unit and Licencing to ensure that it remains compliant with current legislation and best practice.
This policy will be reviewed every year by the Chief Inspector, Planning and Resource Management, on behalf of OPC Head of Force Control Room, Central Resourcing Unit and Licencing to ensure it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
7.0 Related Force policies or related procedures
D 1001 Procedure – Public Order, Public Safety Events and Police Led Operations
D 1002 Procedure – Operations Centre - Business Continuity Management
A 1000 Policy - Anti-Social Behaviour
A 1001 Procedure - Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour
D 0400 Policy - Critical Incidents
D 0401 Procedure – Dealing with Critical Incidents
D 0700 Policy - Public Order
D 0701 Procedure – Public Order
D 0900 Policy – Policing of Football Matches
D 0901 Procedure - Policing of Football Matches
D 1600 Policy - Operational Briefing and Debriefing
D 1601 Procedure – Operational Briefing
D 1602 Procedure - Operational Debriefing
W 1012 Procedure/SOP – Records Review, Retention and Disposal
G 1901 Procedure – Charging for Police Services
7.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of your data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
7.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
8.0 Other source documents, e.g. legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), partnership agreements (if applicable)