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003-2015: ACPO No. 2 collaboration for Disaster Victim Identification capabilities. – 28 April 2015

Executive Summary and recommendation:

Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) is the police-led response to a mass fatality incident. This includes the recovery and identification of deceased persons, support to families, and the provision of a casualty bureau.

The Strategic Policing Requirement (SPR) sets out the Home Secretary’s view of the national threats that the police must address and the appropriate national policing capabilities required to counter those threats. Threats have been assessed and selected from the National Security Risk Assessment on the basis that they either affect, or may require action from multiple police force areas, resulting in a national response. Threats to public safety are identified in the SPR where it is stated that they cannot be managed by a single police force acting alone. 

On that basis police and crime commissioners and chief constables must satisfy themselves that they:

  • Understand their respective roles in preparing for and tackling shared threats, risks and harm.
  • Agree, where appropriate in collaboration with other forces or partners, the contribution that is expected of them; and
  • Have the capacity and capability to meet that expectation.

North Yorkshire Police (NYP) has led the review and proposed revision of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (Explosives) and DVI services to ensure that the seven forces in the ACPO No.2 Region work effectively together to provide the appropriate capability, both in terms of the scale of the response and the quality of the services provided to the public. The approach has been a new one:

  • The first project decision was agreement on a service specification that identifies the aims, inputs and outputs of the service. Thus building anew from the base up.
  • Vesting forces’ Single Point Of Contact with particular responsibilities in lieu of pan-No.2 Region governance arrangements. This has facilitated the incremental brokering and approval of proposals in individual forces prior to formal, collective sign off at the Project Board.
  • Proposals below are agreed and now require resources for implementation.
A. Legal framework A single Section 22a Agreement between all seven forces in the region is required to form the legal basis for collaborative working.A sub-functional agreement specifically for DVI is also required.
B. Staffing and capability Each force provides an agreed capability to a regional cadre.
C. Command A single regional Senior Identification Manager (SIM) cadre from multiple forces is identified. Each force retains at least two SIMs, with additional resilience provided regionally.
D. Coordination of response mobilisation A single coordinating function for regional and national mobilisation of DVI resources provided by the existing Regional Information Coordination Centre (RICC) in Humberside.
E. Kit and equipment issue

and access

An agreed regional equipment list and issue policy is introduced.All DVI Victim Recovery trained staff should be issued with a ‘grab bag’ of personal issue DVI Personal Protective Equipment and equipment. Additional PPE and equipment should be held by host forces and deployed to an incident if required.
F. Training andexercising Training and exercising is coordinated and delivered regionally at a number of agreed locations, and funded by individual forces.
G. Coordination ofthe Regional DVI


A single coordinating function for regional DVI  provision, provided by North Yorkshire Police. Funding to be agreed. 
H. Governance A single Regional DVI Board  is established to manage the regional DVI provision. It should report into the existing regional governance structure through the ACPO lead.
I. Coordination ofrecording of training, inoculations, passport

details, risk assessments

and deployments

A single regional database, with all forces’ data managed by the Regional DVI Coordinator. 
J. SOPs A series of Regional Standard Operating Procedures are to be developed, based on Authorised Professional Practice (APP)
K. Resource Model Proportional by force budget, using the Net Revenue Expenditure (NRE) model.
L. Casualty Bureau Regional casualty bureau provision, to include casualty bureau provision for Operation Power.

It is recommended that proposals are implemented with resources (for both CBRN and DVI concurrently):

  • Project manager full time for 12 months (£47,584)
  • One Service Delivery Advisor at 0.7FTE (£44,968)
  • One Business Analyst at 0.4 FTE (£17,617)
  • Legal, HR and Operations Directorate to support implementation. These Departments have indicated that this may be absorbed as daily business.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 28 April 2015
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

1. Introduction and background

1.1       Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) is described by the College of Policing as “the processes and procedures for recovering and identifying deceased persons and human remains, and the support that is given to family and friends during the identification process,” following an emergency or major incident.

1.2       The Strategic Policing Requirement identifies the national requirement for “appropriate capacity to respond adequately to civil emergencies requiring a national response as set out in the National Resilience Planning Assumptions for events threatening serious damage to human welfare as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. This should include incidents causing mass fatalities on a significant scale…”

1.3       The ACPO No.2 Region response to a DVI incident has been reviewed to ensure that the seven forces work effectively together to provide the appropriate capability, both in terms of the scale of the response and the quality of the service provided to the public. To date forces have interpreted and managed their DVI response locally and so this review work has highlighted:

  • Inconsistency in key role numbers
  • Differing approaches to staffing, equipment and training
  • Mixed approach to finances
  • A patchwork of investment that may be improved through service clarity and consistency.

1.4       This is the first time Cleveland, Durham, Humberside, Northumbria, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Police Forces have worked together in this way to produce a joint set of proposals. A Regional DVI service specification, detailing the core inputs, features, outputs and outcomes of a DVI response has been developed and agreed and used as the framework for the high level proposals.

1.5       In addition to building a service based on clear operational requirements, it also reflects the common values of the forces involved in terms of public reassurance and confidence in the police. Delivery will be based on a single joint approach, funded through costs shared according to an agreed formula.

1.6       The benefits to the public will be:

  • A service refreshed against agreed outcomes and values
  • A service that has been updated to meet national requirements
  • A cost effective service
  • Staff with greater levels of expertise
  • An appropriate and consistently delivered multi-agency response

1.7       The benefits to public services will be:

  • Meets and is maintained against national requirements
  • Maximises the use of regional resources through increased interoperability, including staff, equipment and estate
  • Efficiencies achieved through the coordination and standardisation of the approach to DVI emergencies.

2. Other options considered

Forces could have decided to continue as now and manage individually. This would have lost the opportunity to consider, plan and implement a No. 2 Region solution as required by the Home Office or to make the efficiencies identified through the proposals. 

3. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

The DVI service is built upon outcomes of meeting public expectations, maintaining confidence in the police and making communities safer. Every aspect of service delivery is geared towards protecting life and providing an efficient and effective service that meets local, Regional and national requirements.

4. Implementation and resource implications

Project management resources of (for both CBRN and DVI concurrently):

  • Project manager full time for 12 months (£47,584).
  • One Service Delivery Advisor at 0.7FTE (£44,968).
  • One Business Analyst at 0.4 FTE (£17,617).
  • Legal Services to draw up the Section 22a Agreement
  • HR – assistance to verify and establish the role requirement and pay scale for the proposed DVI Coordinator
  • Operations Directorate to meet the functions of the Coordinator’s role.

Other than specific project staff, implementation will form part of daily force business.

The majority of benefits relate to meeting national standards collectively. Any financial savings will be identified in future business cases where they are needed in order to deliver the proposals.

5. Consultations carried out

Name (Collar number) Department Comments
D Supt J Green (Cleveland)DCI S Chapman (Durham)

D Supt M Hutchinson (Humberside)

D Supt N Costello and Steve Ball (NYP)

D Supt S Howes (Northumbria)

D Supt P Etheridge and Insp K Harvey (SYP)

DCI P Fountain (WYP)

Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) and forces’  lead Assistant Chief Constables Assistance with development and approval of service specification and proposals
Forces’ Chief Constables and ACCs Through the SPOCs, forces’ command teams Approval of service specification and proposals
Neil Irving (NYCC)Tom Knox (NYCC) Local Resilience Fora Liaison on project and outcomes
Christopher Dorries and Derek Winter The Coroner’s Office Liaison and updates
Clive Brooks National College of Policing Liaison and advice.
CC Debbie Simpson and D Supt Jen Williams ACPO Civil Contingencies/DVI Lead Update on any plans to create a DVI national collaborative agreement
Helen Palfrey Greater Manchester Police Feedback on Casualty Bureau proposals

6. Financial implications

Chief Constables Chief Finance Officer Comments 

Funding for the specific resources requested in Section 4 of this DN are already included in the MTFP.  On the basis that Legal and HR and Operational colleagues can provide any resources required as per section 4, then there will not be any additional costs associated with this Decision Notice.

The outline business case provided suggests does not provide any detailed costings and I understand that it is intended to bring detailed business cases/further Decision Notices before incurring any costs associated with implementation and/or operation of the proposed solution.

7. Legal Implications

A first step will be for the drafting and sign off of a Section 22a Agreement under the Police Act 1996 as the legal basis of formal collaboration. Any s22a will need to be signed by all seven Police and Crime Commissioners and seven Chief Constables.  The proposal is for an overarching Agreement to be supplemented by sub-functional agreements of which DVI will be one. These documents will set out the details with regard to collective aims, service levels, use of resources, legal, financial and governance arrangements.

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

8. Equality Implications

Proposals are predicated upon an agreed service specification that focuses on police professionals making the best decisions by increasing the knowledge and evidence base through the pooling of information and expertise. Services will remain in accordance with national standards and any other local arrangements will be consulted upon prior to implementation. The need for the completion of a Privacy Impact Assessment has been considered and found to be unnecessary. 

Human Resources Implications

It is noted that the proposals included in this Decision Notice are supported by an Outline Business Case which provides initial assessments and information which will be developed to raise further decision points throughout the implementation phase.  The development of Section22a is paramount to enable the determination and agreement of key aspects of the collaboration, such as the existence and continued support of the RICC in Humberside and the design, development and funding of the proposed Regional DVI Coordinator role.  This agreement should also acknowledge the command and control arrangements as the employment model proposed is a ‘virtual hub and spoke’ design.  Joint training delivery options, the provision of post incident debriefing and support and the acknowledgement of the Health and safety considerations beyond PPE should all be part of the implementation work.  The proposal to manage training and accreditation information in one central ‘regional’ system needs to be carefully explored as this will create a two tier system within forces in relation to the management of skills rather than a desired single point of truth.  

Public Access to information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Part 2

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – Yes

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction –  Reference is made to Restricted material within the National Planning Assumptions.

Originating Officer Declaration

Author name:         Claire Craven-Griffiths                 

Collar number:      4529

  Name      (Collar Number) Date of completion (√)
Head of Departmenthas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. Ken McIntosh 1414 20/04/2015
Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Wintermeyer


Financial AdviceThe CC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Palmer


Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments. Claire Craven-Griffiths 4529 02.04.15
HR AdviceHR advice has been sought in relation to any people related matters


Rosemarie Holmes




I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decisionSignature                                                                                                      Date 2.4.15

Claire Craven-Griffiths

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