According to Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (Jesip), an organisation that sets out the standard approach on how organisations such as police and councils work together, a major incident is an event or situation with a range of serious consequences, which requires special arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agencies.
This is due to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities” and follows the government introducing new lockdown restrictions for parts of north-west England on Thursday. Out of the 20 worst affected local authority areas for Covid-19 infections in England, Greater Manchester boroughs make up more than a third of the list, with seven entries.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) described it as “no more than a boost to our capabilities”, while the police force said it would mean they could “respond as effectively as possible” to the increasing rates of infection. The Manchester city council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said it was “standard practice for complex situations which require a coordinated multi-agency response”. He said the move meant they could ramp up efforts already being made by different organisations working together and “allows the establishment of a central command structure to oversee the response and enables agencies involved to draw on extra resources”.
The declaration at the weekend did not change the local lockdown restrictions announced on Thursday, the GMCA said, but allowed public agencies in the area to access any extra resources they might need “as quickly and efficiently as possible”.
Yes. In June, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council declared a major incident when it said services were “stretched to the absolute hilt” as thousands of sun-seekers flocked to beaches amid a heatwave. Dorset police explained that doing so allowed them to bring agencies together “so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible”, with much of the national lockdown still very much in place amid the pandemic. Extra police patrols were brought in as the council said it had been left with no choice but to “initiate an emergency response” to deal with the huge crowds.