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Events Planning and VIP Visits

Dated: 8 October 2020

POLICY TITLE: Events Planning and VIP Visits 

OWNING DIRECTORATE: Force Coordination

AUTHOR: Superintendent, Operations Department





AIM OF POLICY: To provide a consistent approach to event planning and VIP visits, ensuring events which require police involvement are policed with due regard to the requirements of current legislation/guidance.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: To provide a corporate and consistent approach to the maintenance of public safety at events held in the Force area.

REASON FOR POLICY: Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The rights conferred by articles 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 of the Convention - right to respect for private and family life, freedom to manifest individual beliefs, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and prohibition of discrimination are also acknowledged.


The policy statement is drawn up following consultation between representatives of the core constituent body at the Safer Events Working Group (SEWG).  

This policy provides clarity for Northumbria Police and key partners (including Local Authority, Safety Advisory Groups (SAG), other emergency services and event organisers) in event planning to ensure events are planned to the correct safety standards by competent persons and includes the provision of Special Police Services (SPS) throughout the Force, ensuring that events which require police involvement are policed with due regard to the requirements of current legislation/guidance and the safety of those who take part in, or may be affected by the event.  

The overall objective of this policy is, so far as reasonably practicable, to ensure that all events are organised with the safety of the participants, spectators and officials foremost in the planning process. More specifically, the aims of the policy are to:  

i) minimise any adverse impact from events;

ii) provide a framework for event organisers and statutory bodies to work in partnership to promote event safety;  

iii) promote good practice in safety and welfare planning;  

iv) allow all SAG partners and the event organisers to give appropriate and timely consideration to the need for staffing and other resources;  

v) identify the need for adequate and appropriate controls to effectively manage health and safety risks;  

vi) identify the need for appropriate contingency arrangements.  

All of the named statutory agencies and those who may be involved in the SAG process, will use reasonable endeavours to minimise public safety risks arising from an event, but ultimately event safety is the responsibility of the event organiser and/or landowner.  

Review Procedure  

The SEWG will reconvene on a bi-annual basis (or earlier if required) to review this policy and other related documents. The member organisation who will host the review meeting will be determined as part of the review process.  

The members of the Local Resilience Forum, in making this policy, acknowledge:  

Absolute Right  

1) The positive duty to protect life incorporated in article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998.  

Qualified Rights  

2) The rights conferred by articles 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14 of the Convention - right to respect for private and family life, freedom to manifest individual beliefs, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and prohibition of discrimination are also acknowledged.  

It is the intention of the partner bodies that they will act in a manner which affords enjoyment of these rights without discrimination on any grounds and that these rights will be respected and balanced in a way which ensures that all events are planned and managed with safety as a priority.  

These rights will only be impinged upon where there is lawful authority and it is necessary in the interest of national security, public safety, the protection of health, to protect the rights and freedoms of others, or to prevent disorder or crime. This will only be done to an extent which is proportional in the circumstances and which is the least intrusive action, which will achieve the stated aim.  


On receipt of notification of a proposed event by any of the core constituent body members, they will notify other core members via the SAG. Consultation will then take place at a local level to determine the need or otherwise for holding a SAG. There is no minimum size of event that may warrant a SAG, but in all instances, public safety risks posed by the event must be the primary reason for doing so.  

There will be a number of small scale events that may not warrant consideration by a SAG where there are no anticipated significant public safety risks and/or the event is routine in relation to the activities normally carried out at the site. Where such an event comes to the notice of a core constituent body member, and, in their professional judgement the event does not pose public safety issues, that member can permit the event to progress. That member must notify, in writing, each of the other members of the core constituent body of the event, and of the decision they have taken. If any of the core constituent members disagree with the decision, a Preliminary SAG will be convened and chaired by the Local Authority where the event takes place.  

Following notification to any of the authorities of an event which presents public safety issues, consideration will be given to the requirement of arranging preliminary SAG. The membership of the preliminary SAG will be made up of representatives of the core constituent body, as listed at the beginning of this document. 

Co-ordination of views / SAGs will normally be undertaken by the Local Authority in whose area the event takes place. 

The chair of the Group will ordinarily be a representative of the lead local authority, except in those circumstances where there is a potential conflict of interests, in which case the lead local authority will identify a chairperson for approval by the SAG. Consideration should be given to this being an officer from the lead authority of a discipline not actively involved in the promotion/presentation of the event but who possesses the necessary skills to perform the role.  

If an event transcends more than one Local Authority area, the Local Authority which is affected the most by the event will normally chair, coordinate and administer the SAG, ensuring that all discussions and advice are documented and communicated in writing to all SAG members and the event organiser.  

Determining Responsibility for Event Planning 

All known events will be notified to the FRU, typically via: 

a) Local Authorities (circulated via an event notification form system, to include sufficient details for assessment) 

b) Organiser(s) direct 

c) Source (e.g.: FIB – Rave/Protests/Demo’s).  

The FRU Events Team will initially evaluate and determine the category of the event using the event assessment matrix process and forward details to Public Order Silver Commander / Area Command as appropriate. 

A Silver Commander will be nominated for Category B and C events which will likely be subject of a Silver Public Order Threat Assessment and SAG process. 

FRU will contact Special Branch if appropriate and request a threat assessment, which will cover all events taking place. Details of each event, together with the threat assessment, will be passed to Silver Commander and the identified Security Co-ordinator (SecCo) who may or may not nominate a Police Search Advisor (PolSa). The SecCo will provide Silver with security advice to include search requirements and Silver will decide the overall policing response. 

Category U Event Ungraded police free (events will only be shown on the Events Diary no circulation to NPT) 

Category A Event Local Engagement (forwarded to NPT for information and awareness) 

Category B Event Managed Engagement (dependent upon level of event the policing response can range from NPT engagement up to full Command and Control with specialist resources). 

Category C Event Force Engagement (FRU Lead, full Command and Control utilising forcewide resources including NPT and specialist resources with multi-agency SAG’s and Silver Room function during the event). 

For example: Great North Run, Sunderland Airshow, Large scale protests. 

If the classification of an event is not clear then Senior Management Team's (SMT's) of the FRU and relevant area commands will discuss and agree on a suitable determination.  

Provision of SPS 

Where a decision is made to police an event, police commanders must review the provision of which services can lawfully be charged to the organiser of the event under ‘Special Police Services’ (SPS) pursuant to Section 25(1) of the Police Act 1996 (as amended). Section 25(1) states:  

"The chief officer of police of a police force may provide, at the request of any person, special police services at any premises or in any locality in the police area for which the force is maintained, subject to the payment to the local policing body of charges on such scales as may be determined by that body".  

Resolution Process 

Northumbria Police will work positively and consistently with partners at all times to resolve issues at a local level. Initial attempts at resolution will be made by the police commander appointed for the event.  

Where police commanders cannot resolve an issue (through explanation of their rationale and force policy) then the matter will be referred through the established process for resolution namely: 

Issues in relation to costs incurred or cost recovery will be referred through to Finance and Resources Department and dealt with under the existing dispute process  

Issues relating to operational planning, categorisation or resourcing will be referred to the FRU to escalate through to the relevant Assistant Chief Constable.  

Where resolution has been attempted and public safety concerns still remain, the relevant Assistant Chief Constable may refer the issue to the relevant Safety Advisory Group for resolution 

Police Officers and staff will not engage in negotiation or actions which are outside of their role profile or job description. This is necessary to maintain the integrity of the relationship or activities between Northumbria Police and event organisers, and to prevent any perception of an inappropriate relationship or favours being provided to certain event organisers.  

Policing of VIP Visits 

A VIP visit is any visit which includes a member of the Royal Family or a VIP which impacts upon the public of the Northumbria Police area. 

Northumbria Police intend to police such visits in a way which causes least disruption to the normal lives of those not involved with the visit, which is consistent with safety and with the rights of those taking part or spectating.


GROUPS AFFECTED: All police officers and police staff


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