In the Media

Police up flood operations to help stricken communities

PUBLISHED February 15, 2014

The National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC) has met with government to discuss mutual aid to areas most heavily affected by the recent deluge.

NPoCC, provides gold standard coordination of police officers on a national scale, under the command of Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers - it's role to effectively police and support major incidents and events across the UK.

Approximately 80,000 homes across the country are without power, and with further rain and winds of up to 80 miles per hour predicted, forces are gearing up for deployment to the most submerged areas of the country to offer help and support to stranded home owners and the flood prevention effort.

Police forces have been putting major incident plans into practice across their force areas since floodwaters began creeping up two weeks ago.

Both NPoCC and the Association of Chief Police Officers is in direct contact with the affected forces and regions to offer continued assistance as well as are liaising with the Cabinet Office and attending COBR meetings to support the national policing operation.

Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Williams, strategic lead of NPoCC, said: "Coordination of police in times of national need such as this is essential - especially so those working day-in and day-out in flood-hit areas are relieved by colleagues who can then continue to support residents.

"Our chief concern is always the security and safety of the public. Most of the policing aid effort therefore will be about supporting the flood prevention effort around those properties under threat from flooding, supporting local authorities with directing evacuees to rest centres and providing support to those displaced by the floods.

"We understand that with the need to abandon homes and businesses, residents have expressed concern surrounding looting. This is not something we have seen at all, and of course the police are continuing to patrol flood-hit areas to ensure they do not fall victim to callous opportunists."

Forces train throughout the year in preparation for major incidents such as adverse weather, supporting agencies such as local councils, other blue light services and the environment agency as part of Local Resilience Forums. These strategies are constantly reviewed to ensure the police response is effective and well supported nationally in terms of resources.

"The 'business as usual' demands on police obviously can't be put on hold, said ACC Williams, "so part of the role of NPoCC is to ensure forces have the frontline resources to be able to continue with the day to day as well as times such as this.

"This is a terrible time for those devastated by the flooding and we need to do all we can to support and protect them."