In the aftermath of the severe flooding that affected the Cornwall area on Tuesday and Wednesday, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) analyses how the private security industry can help the police force cope with the challenges brought on by natural disasters, recalling the successful partnership that was formed when dealing with the devastating effects of the Gloucestershire flooding in 2007.
The heavy rain that hit the Cornwall area on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday meant that great disruption was caused to the transport network, vehicles had to be recovered from floodwaters and homes and business premises were left seriously damaged. Police forces are now working around the clock alongside the local community, governmental bodies and volunteering groups to deal with these challenges and to minimise disruption to the community.
In times where police resources are already stretched to the limit, the private security industry can be of great assistance by alleviating the pressure on the police force and by picking up some of the functions required to get communities back on their feet after catastrophic events have occurred. There are already plenty of examples where police and the private security industry have successfully pulled together to restore safety and order within the community, such as the work undertaken after the devastating Gloucestershire floods in 2007. In Gloucestershire, 900 homes and 100 businesses were flooded as a result of the heavy rain, and the threat of water shortages as well as criminals trying to exploit the difficult situation were only a few of the problems the force was faced with.
During a recent BSIA event entitled ‘Working together: protecting communities’, Chief Inspector Derek Jones from Gloucestershire Police recalled the events of the 2007 flooding. The force worked with a BSIA member company to overcome the challenges caused by such a severe natural disaster, praising the exceptional role played by the security team in helping the police.
“This was the largest peace time emergency since the Second World War, and the reputation of Gloucestershire police was at stake.” commented Chief Inspector Jones.
“The security team that we worked with had a positive and flexible approach. Whatever I asked for, the answer was yes, and they provided a great deal of reassurance. The escalation of confidence soon increased. Because of that positive leadership, I was able to give feedback to the Gold Commander and arrange redeployment and rest days for police staff as well.”
Looking at the difficult years ahead also in terms of public spending, the BSIA will be stepping up its work in helping the public sector to protect the nation, counter terrorism and secure the critical national infrastructure.