When faced with violence and aggression, or incidents involving public disturbance, fire and rescue service personnel should consider requesting police support and appointing an appropriate liaison officer. The use of National Incident Liaison Officer (NILO) may assist with multi agency working and coordination at larger incidents.
The police may be able to assist fire service personnel with:
- Public order
- Attempts at rescue by members of the public
- Outer cordon controls
- Traffic cordon controls
- Provision of police escort
- Criminal activity requiring further investigation
- Removal of dead bodies following recovery
- Requests for public information (press, media)
Liaison with the police may be required to manage reckless attempts at rescue by members of the public. The outer cordon will normally be controlled by the police. A traffic cordon will prevent access by members of the public. See Incident Command Guidance - Control measure – Establish appropriate cordon controls
Crews may be faced with many onlookers and media interest. Wherever possible, police attendance should be requested to deal with crowds. Any media contact should be made through the police or in line with any local pre-arrangement.
Where people present a hazard to emergency responders at incidents, specialist support may be required to reduce the risks. The police can provide advice and assistance with, for example; crowd control and evacuation, aggression and violence, looting and criminal activity (including deliberate fire-setting). The police will be responsible for co-ordinating investigations and disaster victim identification, family liaison and casualty bureau.
At incidents where there is evidence of criminal activity, or a concern personnel may be intimidated or threatened, the police should be requested to attend. Where there is potential for ongoing criminal activity to affect fire service operations this risk should be reflected in the operational plan.
See National Operational Guidance: Incident command -- Multi agency working