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Ownership of event planning within Northumbria Police

Dated: 29 Oct 2015

POLICY TITLE: Ownership of Event Planning within Northumbria Police

AUTHOR: Superintendent, Force Resilience Unit





AIM OF POLICY: The aim of this policy is to provide a consistent approach to event planning and the provision of Special Police Services 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.

BENEFIT OF POLICY: Events will be planned in a consistent way to ensure safety.

REASON FOR POLICY: This policy will provide clarity for Northumbria Police and key partners (including Local Authority, Safety Advisory Groups, other emergency services and event organisers) in event planning to ensure events are planned to the correct safety standards by competent persons. This policy acknowledges the positive duty to protect life incorporated in Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The rights conferred by Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Convention - of freedom to manifest individual beliefs, freedom of expression and of assembly are also acknowledged.

Ensuring events are planned to the correct safety standards by competent persons acknowledges the positive duty to protect life incorporated in Article 2 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The rights conferred by Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Convention - of freedom to manifest individual beliefs, freedom of expression and of assembly are also acknowledged. Northumbria Police will act in a manner which affords enjoyment of these rights without discrimination on any grounds. It is the intention 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 interests of 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.

The following list, although not comprehensive, gives an idea of the types of event to which application of this policy is appropriate:

  • Marches, parades, motorcades;
  • Fun runs, road races, cycle races;
  • Charity walks;
  • Charity stunts;
  • Festivals, music or otherwise (at football stadiums, indoor venues or outdoor events);
  • Concerts (at football stadiums, indoor venues or outdoor music events);
  • Shows, fetes and street parties;
  • Motor sports;
  • Sporting events.

Determining Responsibility for Event Planning

All known events will be notified to the Force Resilience Unit (FRU), who will evaluate and determine police response to an event.

Event notifications are classified as follows by the FRU Events and Operations section:

  • Category A Event - Area command lead
  • Category B Event - Area command lead with FRU Events and Operations support or
  • Category C Event - FRU Events and Operations lead to provide a force response.
  • Unclassified - those events that do not require any police action.

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.

There is a separate policy for classification and planning of policing for football matches held within the force area.

Provision of Special Police Services

Northumbria Police will provide Special Police Services to support public safety at events.
Special Police Services will be provided in accordance with a documented Framework Agreement or Special Police Services Contract. The agreement will include a Charging Agreement outlining the applicable charges and cost recovery process (see force policy ‘Charging for Police Services’), a Statement of Intent outlining clear roles and responsibilities and, where appropriate, an Information Sharing Agreement. Where relevant, such agreements will be reviewed annually.

Northumbria Police may only police a public event where invited to do so by the event organiser or as part of an emergency response to an incident. Once the event has been categorised, the Chief Constable will consider requests for Special Police Services made under Section 25 of the Police Act 1996. Where a request is made, the Chief Constable will determine whether, and at what level, police resources are required. Such a determination will be made following a specific threat and risk assessment for that event.

Where a decision is made not to invite the Chief Constable to provide Special Police Services, the responsibility for safety within the event will lie solely with the event organiser. The Chief Constable will however remain responsible for policing matters outside the footprint of the event. A threat and risk assessment will still be undertaken as the Police Service may be aware of intelligence which the event organiser is not in possession of. As a result, if there are any public safety concerns or considerations, the Chief Constable may make representations to the relevant Safety Advisory Group (SAG). It will be open to the chair of the SAG to advise the relevant Local Authority regarding the imposition of conditions which may be required to lessen any risk or preventing the event going ahead if that is deemed to be necessary, to safeguard the public.

Northumbria Police will provide resources to perform core police roles and will not deploy police resources to fill a gap in provision by the event organiser. However, the Police Commander for the event will always have discretion to deploy police resources as they see fit in an emergency or to provide appropriate support to event organisers in order to ensure delivery of the overall plan.

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 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.


GROUPS AFFECTED: All police officers and police staff


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