Who We Are
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 puts a responsibility on Chief Officers (in the MPS this is Assistant Commissioner, Central Operations) to ensure that we prepare, plan and exercise for emergencies. The role of CO3 Emergency Preparedness, in supporting this, is to coordinate and where possible ensure emergency preparedness across the organisation.
Our three core areas of responsibility include Emergency Procedures, Business Continuity and the strategic link with London Resilience. These areas overarch all our work although we also support the ‘Operational Planning and Consequence Management’ workstream for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and have recently been given responsibilities for MPS CBRN policy and coordination.
What We Do
The Assistant Commissioner chairs an Emergency Preparedness Strategic Committee that pulls together all the work strands and business groups that sit under this heading. These include, for example, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) issues, DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) issues, Business Continuity and scoping for the consequence management issues relating to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Emergency Procedures (EP) provide a support, advice and training function for boroughs, in the areas of:
- Contingency planning
- Exercising major incident procedures
- DVI procedures and body recovery
- Advising and supporting senior staff and officers in charge of major incidents
- Multi agency forums in planning for specific emergencies
- To provide membership to the various forums and working groups that make up London Resilience, along with Chairmanship of LESLP and production/management of the LESLP Manual.
CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear)
In June 2007 the unit acquired responsibility for the co-ordination of MPS CBRN policy and response. A considerable amount of work has taken place, which has led to many changes to the MPS CBRN structure being implemented
A holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation and provides a framework for building resilience and the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value creating activities.
The Civil Contingencies Act made it a legal obligation that the MPS maintain and exercise a Business Continuity plan. Due to the size of the organisation and the extensive nature of the estate, it was decided that each command unit would be responsible for its own plan. These individual plans are constructed, managed, tested and updated by the Business Continuity Planner on behalf of the business group or OCU.
The unit has responsibility for training and exercising a variety of subjects relating to major incident procedure and DVI. A good example of this was Exercise Cope; a hugely successful multi-agency, cross regional exercise arranged by staff and officers in the Emergency Procedures office. Aimed at testing the strategic and tactical response to a DVI incident and to evaluate the multi-agency CBRN capabilities within a DVI scenario; the exercise was based around a mock aeroplane crash and included body recovery from a particular environment and decontamination of that area. The exercise was also able to test the practical knowledge of DVI trained officers, staff and support services.
It is impossible for a single agency to work in isolation. As such, Emergency Preparedness has strong and robust links with the London Resilience Team, the London Resilience Partnership and associated agencies. The strength of this partnership was demonstrated during the consequence management issues arising from the suspicious death of Mr Litvinenko in 2006. Whilst much learning came out of this case, the strength of the partnership was a genuine and real asset.