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by the NFCC

Control measure

Joint working at places of lawful detention

Control measure knowledge

Arrangements for places of lawful detention will vary depending upon the site, its ownership and its population. Fire and rescue services should establish joint working arrangements with places of lawful detention in their area. This may include developing response plans and memoranda of understanding (MoUs). 

Some equipment is prohibited within places of lawful detention. Fire and rescue services should identify and comply with these restrictions. 

Personnel should liaise with on-site staff to determine locations with potential hazards and to identify safe access and egress routes. Hostile detainees should be secured so that they cannot encounter personnel. 

Personnel should remain vigilant, especially regarding security arrangements in places of lawful detention, to prevent them from being accidently locked in cells or other areas. Personnel should be accompanied by on-site staff and there should be no lone working. 

Fire and rescue service vehicles and equipment should be positioned in an area away from detainees and also secured. Throughout the incident, personnel should maintain control of all equipment and an inventory of equipment should be carried out before leaving the site.  

On-site CCTV may support in monitoring and assessing any activity that could impact on personnel. 

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Establish joint working arrangements with places of lawful detention

  • Establish joint working arrangements for periods of concerted indiscipline or unrest

  • Agree an appropriate evacuation and withdrawal signal, considering the signals used by each place of lawful detention

  • Identify equipment that is prohibited within each place of lawful detention

  • Provide familiarisation information for operational personnel for each place of lawful detention

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Implement joint working arrangements for the place of lawful detention

  • Ensure prohibited equipment is not taken into the place of lawful detention

  • Consider contingency arrangements, which can be quickly implemented if personnel become isolated in unsafe areas

  • Ensure personnel are accompanied by on-site staff at the place of lawful detention

  • Ensure there is no lone working in the place of lawful detention

  • Monitor and assess activity in the place of lawful detention that could impact on fire and rescue service personnel, vehicles or equipment

  • Maintain control of all equipment throughout the incident 

  • Carry out an inventory check before leaving the place of lawful detention