MY VIEW - Blue light update

Monday 16 December 2019

ALARM's Blue Light Group is increading in popularity and its events profile important sector risks and issues. 

The UK continues to face a substantial threat from both extremism and terrorism.

On 4 November 2019, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) downgraded the country’s terrorism threat level from severe to substantial, leaving it at the lowest since August 2014.

This reduction indicates a slight positive development in reducing the threat from terrorism. However lone extremists still pose an individual threat, as witnessed by the tragic attack on London Bridge in November. We mustn’t forget a substantial level threat still means an attack is likely and all blue light services need to remain vigilant and ready to respond.

Unfortunately, we are still seeing an increase in demand and complexity of work, with a commensurate increase in mental ill health among employees. This is due to a combination of work-related risks and pressures.

We need to better utilise big data to understand its environment and make informed decisions.

We need to secure adequate funding to meet our increasing needs and demands.

Continued EU exit uncertainty, outcomes from the December General election and the PCC elections in May 2020 bring with them political issues that create ongoing risks to day-to-day blue light service provision.

Blue Light Group

We are pleased to report our membership has continued to increase and is now up to 110 members representing 67 blue light organisations. We already have seven new organisations interested in attending the March seminar who have been recommended by other members.

Both Blue Light 2019 events in March and October were successful with members and sponsors, providing valuable networking opportunities and sharing good practice, and encouraging greater collaboration between emergency services.

We would like to thank sponsors DAC Beachcroft and DWF in Birmingham for hosting these events and we look forward to our next event on 24 March at Plexus in Manchester. This spring event will be open for booking at the end of December, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Blue Light Committee

At the Blue Light seminar in October, we all thanked Kath Holder from West Midlands Police who has done a fantastic job over the past few years chairing the Blue Light Committee and Group. Kath has moved onto a new role and we welcomed Sabrina Martin from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service as the new chair.

We also thanked Charles Thomas from Essex County Fire & Rescue Service who has recently retired and Marina Harlow from Norfolk & Suffolk Constabularies for the work they have done on the Committee and wish them both well for their futures.

We welcome Laura Gribbins from Kent Police to the Committee who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be a great asset to the Committee.

If you are interested in joining the Blue Light Group or Committee or have ideas or contacts for events, please get in touch with me or the ALARM Office

Beverley Nichol-Culff, Head of Risk Management and Insurance, West Yorkshire Police and ALARM Board Director and Blue Light Lead

 

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