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Police: Floods

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent assessment is of the level of readiness of police forces to respond to incidents of flooding. (242711)

Under the auspices of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the Local Resilience Forum structure has, since its implementation in 2005, been the primary means through which police forces and other category 1 organisations collaborate to develop emergency plans which would include flood preparedness. Although police forces are engaged in the preparation of their own flood response arrangements, the majority of preparedness is achieved collectively through multi-agency planning.

All Local Resilience Forums have carried out assessments of the risks of emergencies in their areas, and I understand that most recognise flooding as a high risk. Most Local Resilience Forums have a collectively agreed multi-agency flood response plan; and nearly all of the main category 1 responders within them, including police forces, either contribute to these plans or take account of flooding incidents in their own emergency response plans. Most of the plans that exist had already been reviewed in the period following the summer 2007 flooding; and multi-agency plans are being further reviewed following the issue of new guidance from Government in February this year.

In his independent review of the 2007 floods, Sir Michael Pitt said

“during the emergency itself, there were excellent examples of emergency services and other organisations working well together; saving lives and protecting property. However, this was not always the case; some decision making was hampered by insufficient preparation and a lack of information”.

The Government will be responding to Sir Michael Pitt’s recommendations by the end of this year.