Civil emergencies

Supporting material

Checklists

Checklist 1 – police role in major incidents

The police role in major incidents is to:

  • save life and prevent further loss of life in conjunction with the other emergency services
  • prevent escalation of the incident
  • coordinate the response phase of the incident (some exceptions apply)
  • coordinate and communicate between the emergency services, local authorities and other supporting organisations both at the scene of the incident and elsewhere – this includes activation of the strategic coordination group (SCG)
  • secure, protect and preserve the scene
  • provide traffic management and identify evacuation routes (in consultation with the highways authorities and local authority)
  • investigate any criminal offences, obtaining and securing evidence in conjunction with other investigative bodies where applicable
  • collate and disseminate casualty information
  • coordinate the provision of public information in conjunction with other agencies
  • recover, identify, reconcile and repatriate the deceased in a timely and dignified manner on behalf of the coroner
  • prevent and detect crime
  • conduct a thorough investigation with appropriate authorities
  • lead the establishment of a survivor reception centre and a family and friends reception centre
  • establish documentation teams
  • develop an accurate and coordinated media plan
  • restore ‘new normality’ to the community.

Source (NPCC Emergency Procedures Guidance)

Mass fatality coordination group – list of potential members:

Potential group members include:

  • HM coroner (chair)
  • SIM
  • SIO – can be represented by the SIM
  • deputy SIM(s) as appointed
  • casualty bureau manager
  • scene evidence recovery manager (SERM)
  • crime scene manager/bomb scene manager
  • police mortuary operations coordinator (PMOC)
  • family liaison coordinator
  • survivor and/or family and friends centre managers (if these have been established)
  • documentation team coordinator
  • planning and logistics manager (if appointed)
  • finance manager (local authority)
  • chief executive of the local authority or their representative.

Methane SITREP Template

METHANE – SITREP report by first office at the scene

Major incident declared? (Include details of by who and when)
Exact location: exact location of the incident, with map references if possible
Type of incident: the type of incident with brief details of type and numbers of vehicles, trains, buildings, aircraft, etc.
Hazards: hazards, present and potential
Access: access routes and suitable provisional rendezvous points (RVPs)
Number and nature of casualties/fatalities: approximate numbers of casualties (including type/severity)
Emergency services involved: emergency services present and required
Date and time of report
Point of contact

 

Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) situation report

Event/incident (eg, adverse weather – flooding/snow)
Date and time
SCG chair (name and contact number)
Author SITREP no.  

 

Summary of guidance for completion of the template
Detailed guidance notes appear at Annex One, but please observe the following in completing the SITREP template. This SITREP will focus on the strategic dimensions of the emergency and issues arising from that. It will be based on operational reporting, but the strategic issues should not be obscured by operational detail. The RAG status will reflect a judgement of the situation, progress and likely developments – there is no detailed method or metrics to follow, just a defensible judgement of these three dimensions. Reporting the assessed quality of information, together with source and time is critical. Where images (eg, maps) and tables (eg, progress against key indicators) support situational awareness they will usually be appended in annexes.

 

Situation overview
A concise and strategic overview of the situation, its impacts and implications. This should be written as paragraph of text or using a few bullet points, and will draw on the operational (METHANE – see annex) reporting, but extract and emphasise the strategic dimensions and issues arising.

 

Summary of the response
A concise overview of the operational response, drawing attention to any current or foreseen resource of capability issues. This should also summarise the Command, Control and Coordination (C3) arrangements that have been established.

 

Forward look
A summary of possible developments, emerging risks and critical uncertainties that have potential strategic implications for the response and recovery effort.

 

Resource issues
A summary of current and foreseeable resource and capability issues, highlighting any potential or possible requirements for assistance, for example mutual aid between responders or through MACA.

 

Strategy
Working strategy A course of action integrating ends, ways and means to meet policy objectives.
Overarching aim A short, precise and measurable statement of the overall end state you want to achieve. Influenced by, and consistent with, overarching policy.
Objectives A list of steps, phases or tasks that have to be completed in order to achieve the overarching, strategic aim.
Media strategy

 

Agency situation reports (based on METHANE) to include summaries of:

  • direct and wider impacts
  • operational response
  • significant risks, emerging issues
  • assumptions and critical uncertainties
  • forward look
  • other resilience issues arising
  • RAG status
  • point of contact and time/date of last update/check of the information.

 

Emergency services R A G status  
Police R A G
Fire R A G
Ambulance R A G
MCA R A G
Other R A G

 

Local authority(ies) R A G status  
Local authority nameDepartment name R A G  
Local authority nameDepartment name R A G  

 

Health R A G status  
NHS England R A G
Public Health England R A G
Local Public Health R A G

 

Met office R A G status  
Current situation R A G
Forecast R A G
Likely impacts and risks arising R A G

 

Environment agency R A G status Note: For pluvial and groundwater flooding the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) will also be involved and reporting
Current situation R A G
Forecast R A G
Likely impacts and risks arising R A G

 

Transport R A G status  
Highways Agency R A G
Highways Authority (see LA) R A G
Network Rail R A G
Train Operating Company R A G
Other R A G

 

Utilities R A G status  
Electricity R A G
Gas R A G
Water R A G
Telecoms R A G
Other R A G

 

Voluntary sector R A G status  
Organisation name R A G
Organisation name R A G

 

Military R A G status  
Overview R A G
By unit or by capability area R A G Capability areas would for example include logistic support, EOD (explosives), engineering or air support.

 

Summary of other involved groups R A G status  
STAC R A G
Humanitarian Assistance R A G
Recovery Group R A G

 

Other responders R A G status Note: when other org’s are involved, their input will usually be included in the report of their ‘sponsoring organisation’
Organisation name R A G
Organisation name R A G

 

Other issues not covered elsewhere

 

Date and time of next update

 

Guidance notes for completing the SITREP template

Purpose, audience and completion of the SITREP

  • The primary audience for the SITREP is the SCG itself.
  • Additional audiences will include DCLG Emergency Room, COBR, neighbouring or otherwise affected SCGs and other stakeholders requiring strategic situational awareness.
  • The SITREP will usually be drafted in advance of an SCG meeting, then completed and disseminated up/down/sideways as required following the meeting, with agreed actions.

The SCG and its support staff should determine who completes the SITREP. The GLO/GLT will have a role in synthesising strategic information from the completed SITREP for onward transmission to COBR.

  • Logic of the template
  • The template is a starting point for situational reporting at the strategic level
  • The template can be adapted if necessary to fit the specifics of a situation
  • Adaptation should not however be done to reflect personal preferences
  • Protocols for updating
  • Material that is new or revised since the previous SITREP should be in red text
  • The date/time/source of material should be prominent and clear
  • RAG status
  • The RAG status is an honest and defensible appraisal of three dimensions of the emergency: a) the situation, b) the response to it and c) foreseeable developments.
  • Because three dimensions are being combined into a single indicator, and in the absence of a prescribed method of doing so, the RAG status will reflect the collective judgement of the SCG.
  • There is no merit in ‘talking up’ or taking an unrealistically optimistic view of where things stand and how they are projected to develop.
  • Reading the relevant entry should adequately explain the RAG status given.

Indicators of the three levels are defined as follows:

Red Situation: The incident is having a strategically significant impact; normal community business has been significantly affected. Response: The response is at or has exceeded the limits of capacity or capability, and further resources are required. Forward look: The situation is expected to either get worse or remain at this level for the short to medium term.
Amber Situation: The incident is having a moderate impact with issues of strategic concern; normal community business has been affected, but the situation is being effectively managed. Response: The response is being managed, at this time, within current resources and through the activation of local contingency plans and/or coordinated corrective action; mutual aid might be required in the short to medium term. Forward look: The situation is not expected to get any worse in the short to medium term although some disruption will continue.
Green Situation: There is limited or no strategic impact from the incident; normal community business has largely returned or is continuing. Response: Ongoing response is being managed locally, and within the capacity of pre-planned resources. Forward look: The situation is expected to improve with residual disruption being managed.

Reporting provenance and quality

  • The source/time and assessed quality of information should be clearly and prominently reported.
  • Where critical uncertainties (i.e. factors that are unknown, but which have the potential to strategically alter the situation if they become known) exist they should be clearly identified and associated risks set out.
  • Defining concepts and terms for common understanding
  • Where common understanding of a concept or term is necessary for shared situational awareness it should be clearly explained.
  • Common understanding of terms cannot be assumed – terms should be defined
  • Where agreed definitions exist these should normally be adopted and explained (eg, there is a definition of ‘flood’ in the Water Flood and Water Management Act 2010).
  • Acronyms and abbreviations should be minimised, and always explained at their first use in every issue of the SITREP
  • Examples of content for each of the template sections / cells, including numbers involved, nature and severity of impacts and details as required (NOTE that this is an indicative list, not a comprehensive checklist to report against):
  • Key locations (including grid reference or postcode)
  • Relevant timings (eg, timescale to mobilise assets or shut down a facility).

Impact on health and humanitarian assistance

  • Casualties / fatalities / missing persons
  • Public Health / healthcare / welfare
  • Mortuary capacity and operations
  • Humanitarian assistance – Rest Centre and other facilities occupancy
  • Primary and Secondary healthcare
  • Social care.

Impact on essential services

  • Telecommunications
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Fuel supply
  • Water supply
  • Sanitation
  • Sewage
  • Waste management
  • Burials/cremations
  • Transport, aviation, maritime, rail, road, bus
  • Postal services
  • Status of reserves or alternative supplies.

Impact on communities

  • Impact on private dwellings
  • Impact on public premises / assets
  • Homecare
  • Vulnerable people/groups
  • Evacuation
  • Housing and temporary accommodation
  • Impact on community transport
  • Impact on education
  • Community response: nature and extent
  • Engagement by the voluntary sector.

Economic impact

  • Businesses directly and/or indirectly affected (numbers or range if estimate)
  • Supply chain consequences
  • Impact on workforce
  • Impact on tourism
  • Rural economy (farms, food production sector, etc.).

Environmental impact

  • Water contamination
  • Land contamination
  • Air pollution
  • Waste management issues which may be associated with the response
  • Impact on agriculture
  • Food availability/supplies
  • Animal welfare.

Criminal Justice Issues

  • Prisons
  • Public order/crime
  • Courts
  • Protection of property
  • Community safety / community cohesion Issues.

Issues relating to response and capability

  • Specified, implied, essential, and potential tasks
  • Weather: forecast and associated risks
  • Current status of resources / capabilities (dispositions and availability)
  • Mutual aid / military support
  • Key considerations and assumptions
  • Constraints on the operation (eg, time, resources, sustainment, distance, demand and duration)
  • Recommended timelines
  • Contingency planning
  • Capacity of local tier to respond
  • Finance.

Emerging recovery issues

  •  Infrastructure and essential services repair and/or reconnection
  • Financial assistance (eg, business rate or council tax relief)
  • Insurance issues
  • Any bureaucracy or “red tape” challenges
  • Bellwin Scheme
  • Future resilience investment
  • Lessons (to be) identified.

Operational reporting template following METHANE format

Situation overview
Using METHANE provide a brief overview of the type of incident based on information gathered from agencies.
Major incident declared? (Include details of by who and when)
Exact location
Type of incident
Hazards
Access
Number and nature of casualties/fatalities
Emergency services involved
Date and time of report
Point of contact

 

Investigative Golden Hour Principles

Victims – identify, support and sensitively preserve evidence

Scenes – identify, preserve, assess and log

Suspects – identify, arrest and preserve

Witnesses – identify, support and prioritise. Note: first account and description of any suspects

Log – decision, reasons, resources, conditions, circumstances

Clear lines of responsibility – identify, inform, establish needs/expectations/concerns, primary support, sensitivity

Physical evidence – preservation, CCTV, escape routes, public transport routes, ambulances

Prevent contamination – victims, suspects, scenes (ambulances etc), and exhibits

Intelligence – identify, prioritise, maximise, exploit, consider Community and Open Source Intelligence

Community concerns – establish through lay advice, IAG’s, anticipate possible developments, risks to public confidence, rumours

Media strategy – make best use of Press Office or trained media reps in early stages of any incidents. Adopt principles of basic media strategy.

Animal disease – Animal Health Act Legislation – Police Powers Aide Memoire

Animal Health Act 1981 – Section 60.

Where a person is seen or found committing, or is reasonably suspected of being engaged in committing, an offence against this Act, a constable may, without warrant, detain him/her.

The constable may,

  • Stop, detain and examine any animal, vehicle, boat or thing to which the offence
  • Require it to be forthwith taken back or into any place or district from which or out of which it was unlawfully removed and execute and enforce that requisition.

If a person obstructs or impedes or assists in obstructing or impeding a constable or anyone assisting a constable in the execution of this act or ministerial order the constable or officer may without warrant apprehend the offender.

A person apprehended under this section:

  • Shall be taken with all practical speed before a justice and shall not be detained without a warrant longer than is necessary for that purpose.

Animal Health Act 1981 – Section 72 and 73.

72 A person is guilty of an offence against this act who without lawful authority or excuse, proof of which shall lie with him

  • Does or omits anything, the doing or omission of which is declared by this Act or by an Order of the Minister to be an offence by that person against this Act or;
  • Does anything by which this Act or such an order is made or declared not to be lawful.

73 A person is guilty of an offence against this Act who, without lawful authority or excuse, proof of which shall lie with him

  • Does anything in contravention of this Act, or of an order of the Minister, or of a regulation of a local authority; or
  • Fails to give, produce, observe or do any notice, licence, rule or thing which by this Act or such order or regulation he is required to give, produce, observe or do.

Obstruct a Constable in the execution of his duty.

89(1) Any person who assaults a constable in the execution of his duty or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence.

89(2) Any person who resists or wilfully obstructs a constable in the execution of his duty, or a person assisting a constable in the execution of his duty, shall be guilty of an offence.

Breach of the Peace

Any person can arrest:

(a) where a breach of the peace is committed by the person arrested in the presence of the person making the arrest; OR

(b) where the person making the arrest reasonably believes that such a breach will be committed in the immediate future by the person whom he has arrested, although no breach has occurred at that stage; or

(c) where a breach of the peace has been committed by the person arrested and the person making the arrest reasonably believes that a renewal of it is threatened.

If it is intended to intercept and arrest protestors (such as hunt protestors/animal activists) then the police must be able to provide evidence that there is a real threat of a breach of the peace. A force has paid out damages to protestors half a mile from a hunt, who were showing no signs of doing anything more than exercising their lawful right.

Ghani v Jones Lord Denning said, in relation to cordons, “the police should be able to do whatever is necessary and reasonable to preserve the evidence of the crime”.

Page last accessed 18 November 2018