Civil Emergencies

The Authorised Professional Practice (APP) has been approved by the College of Policing as the official and most up-to-date source of professional practice on policing. The Joint Specialist Operations Unit for South Yorkshire and Humberside Police have adopted APP as their Statement of Agreed Policy. This is the agreed policy Civil Emergencies and you may wish to refer to the APP section now.


South Yorkshire Police have agreed that the current APP policing practice does not meet their aims and objectives in the following area and therefore have deviated from APP. The rationales for the decisions are outlined in the individual sections.

·         Business Continuity Management (BCM)


In addition to APP, South Yorkshire Police’s statement of agreed policy on Civil emergencies includes; 


This policy applies to all South Yorkshire Police Officers and staff who respond to, and are responsible for the planning, management and resolution of emergency incidents. The only exception will be in respect of Critical Incidents, which is subject to a separate, but linked policy, P3 Critical Incident Management.

In terms of Business Continuity Management, it applies to all parts of the Force, with implementation being the responsibility of the Command Head/District Commander and Departmental Head.

It also applies to the management of out-sourced contracts and requires that appropriate Business Continuity processes are included in such contracts, so that an acceptable standard of service can be maintained following a disruption to South Yorkshire or the contractor.

Aims and Objectives

To provide a structured approach to emergency planning. To facilitate an effective, professional and structured response to any emergency, regardless of the cause, including operating within a CBRN or Hazardous Environment. This will allow for a controlled, consistent and safe response to relevant situations working with partners who work to the same roles and responsibilities.


Major Incidents

SYP will follow the definition of a Major Incident, shown on the latest version of the APP (see below) in conjunction with their respective Major Incident Plan (MIP):

South Yorkshire Major Incident Plan (document within ‘SYP Specific Plan’s Folder)

This provides Officers with the knowledge and information necessary for them to effectively resolve these incidents and to give all officers and staff access to definitive advice about their roles, responsibilities and the procedures concerned with the management of major incidents. The definition of a Major Incident:

An event or situation, with a range of serious consequences, which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agencies.

Note: ‘Emergency responder agencies’ describes all Category one and two responders as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and associated guidance.

A major incident is beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security.

A major incident may involve a single-agency response, although it is more likely to require a multi-agency response, which may be in the form of multi-agency support to a lead responder.

The severity of consequences associated with a major incident are likely to constrain or complicate the ability of responders to resource and manage the incident, although a major incident is unlikely to affect all responders equally.

The decision to declare a major incident will always be a judgement made in a specific local and operational context, and there are no precise and universal thresholds or triggers. Where LRFs and responders have explored these criteria in the local context and ahead of time, decision makers will be better informed and more confident in making that judgement.


As per the Police National CBRN Centre, CBRN is the threatened and/or deliberate release of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear material with deliberate criminal, malicious or murderous intent, targeted at a given population and/or economic or symbolic points. This could be done either on their own or in combination with each other and conventional explosives. Even the smallest release, once shown or believed to be deliberate, will have significant impact on public or political opinion and will require an immediate and coordinated multi-agency response.

Under the radiological banner any ‘Op Cyclamen’ event that is suspected to be terrorist, serious crime or a public health hazard then by mutual agreement with the UKBA a CBRN incident (Level 3 Cyclamen event) will be declared. 


Hazardous Environment Operations Team (HEOT)

There is a Hazardous Environment Operations Team based in Humberside Police who can provide support as detailed below when requested.

A hazardous environment is any environment that has the potential to harm staff through respiratory, absorption or contact by direct or transferred contamination. This will include any event or incident where, due to its nature, there is a substantial risk to health to members of the public and/or emergency responders at or attending the scene; or where circumstances indicate that access to a specialist skills and/or PPE in order to minimise that risks would appear to be appropriate. This will include incidents such as the following (not an exhaustive list):

·         White Powder (non-terrorist)

·         Chemical Fatalities

·         Illicit Labs

·         Cannabis Factories / Farms

·         Confined Space

·         Badly Decomposed Bodies


Service Fee

There will be no fee when the HEOT attend spontaneous incidents. However, all pre-planned events must be conducted through a Mutual Aid request.


All relevant staff will maintain and manage the specialist personal protective equipment assets, Detection equipment and respiratory equipment as per the HSE requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act guidelines.

Business Continuity Management

Although there is a short section on BCM in APP, it has been decided that this does not adequately cover all areas on the subject. It has therefore been recognised by the National Police BC Managers Group that a specific BC APP area needs to be created and work is in progress by the National Group to develop a more comprehensive area. In the interim, South Yorkshire Police will adhere to the policy below on all matters of BCM

South Yorkshire Police have agreed to adopt a pro-active approach to Business Continuity Management (BCM) in order to comply with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and to ensure consistency with the principles of good Corporate Governance.

This policy requires each Command Head/District Commander and Departmental Head to demonstrate that they have considered the need for Business Continuity Plans for every function under their control.


This Policy provides a structure for the following BCM processes:

Business Impact Analysis

As part of the Business Impact Analysis process, Districts/Commands and Departments will review their daily processes and identify which, if any, directly support the Force Mission Critical Functions (FMCFs).

What constitutes a Critical Function, together with what a minimum acceptable level of service, and recovery time objective (RTO) would be following a disruption, will be determined by each Department's Business Continuity Single Point of Contact (SPOC), in consultation with their respective Management Teams.

BCM Risk Assessment

The Business Continuity Risk Assessment process requires Commands/Districts and Departments to identify internal and external risks, associated with their ability to provide an identified Critical Function. All risk subsequently identified shall be reported via the Business Manager to the respective Command Team, who will determine the appropriate method of deal with it.

BCM Plans

Business Continuity Plans have been developed throughout both Forces, to ensure that in the event of disruption, South Yorkshire Police can continue to deliver an acceptable level of service in relation to their Force Mission Critical Functions.

The plans have been developed and aligned with guidance from the International Standard ISO 22301:12, the British Standards Institute (BS 25999) and the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The development of Business Continuity Plans will mean that at all times South Yorkshire Police can:

·         Continue to provide Critical Functions to the public during periods of disruption.

·         Provide best use of personnel and other resources at times when both might be scarce.

·         Reduce the period of disruption to both the organisation and the public.

·         Improve the resilience of the organisation’s infrastructure to reduce the likelihood of disruption.

·         Reduce the operational and financial impact of any disruption. 


BCM Plan Maintenance

BCM plans will be the subject of regular exercise, maintenance and review to ensure that at all times they are robust, relevant and fit for purpose.



The South Yorkshire Policing Board (SYPB) chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable, will oversee the development and ongoing governance of Business Continuity Management for the Force. Board members consist of all Command/District and Departmental Heads.

Any issues raised relating to this policy and the ongoing development of BCM within the organisation, will be discussed at meetings of the SYPB. All decisions made by the Board shall be recorded in minutes and where appropriate, any decisions which are outside the remit of the SYPB will be referred to the Senior Command Team (SCT). The Deputy Chief Constables will authorise future revisions of this Policy.

Legal Framework

Civil Contingencies Act 2004

Associated Procedural Instructions

This policy is supported by the subsequent procedural instructions:


·         Pi2.1 – Dealing with HM Armed Force

·         Pi2.2 – Exercising, Maintaining and Reviewing Business Continuity Management (BCM) Arrangements.

·         Pi2.3 – Business Continuity Governance – Roles and Responsibilities

Other relevant SYP documents you may wish to consider are:

South Yorkshire Major Incident Plan

D51512 Information Management and Compliance.

Equality Act 2010: 

The Act creates a statutory requirement for all Functions and Policies (Including Procedural Instructions) to be analysed for their effect on equality, diversity and human rights, with due regard to the General Equality Duty.

In principle, this document has been assessed for discrimination, which cannot be justified, among other diverse groups.

The Code of Ethics published in 2014 by the College of Policing requires us all to do the right thing in the right way. It also recognises that the use of discretion in Policing is necessary but in using discretion, states that you should, "take into account any relevant policing codes, guidance, policies and procedures into consideration."

Human Rights/Discretion:

The purpose of providing policy is to give an indication to staff of the expected course of action.  However it is not possible to cater for every possible combination of factors that would justify a departure from stated policy.  The Human Rights Act 1998 requires the proper use of discretion at all times and nothing within this policy and associated procedural instructions prohibits the proper use of discretion in appropriate circumstances.

Where action is taken that has the potential to interfere with an individual’s Human Rights, the reasons behind the making of the decision to act in that way should be recorded on the appropriate forms, or where this is not practicable, in pocket books or policy logs.

Rights of redress for members of the public:

Anyone who feels that a member of staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, or who is dissatisfied with organisational matters, service delivery or other operational policing issues, has the right to make a complaint.

Initial action should be taken in one of the following ways:

·         Complain in writing or in person to the Senior Officer at the appropriate police station or to the Chief Constable of the force concerned.

·         Visit a local Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         Contact a Solicitor

Rights of redress for South Yorkshire Police personnel:

South Yorkshire Police personnel who feel they have grounds for concern in relation to the implementation of policies may, as appropriate:

·         Pursue concerns through their line manager.

·         Contact a First Contact Advisor.

·         Pursue a grievance formally through the South Yorkshire Police Fairness at Work Procedure.

·         Seek advice from their staff association or trades union.

·         Use procedural instruction D50241 Management of Complaints, in the section entitled Handling Complaints relating to Direction and Control.


04 April 2016

This statement of agreed policy is new


Monday, 4 April, 2016 - 00:00