What started as a good idea has got me stumped, and I need your help! I’m on the hunt for the first edition of the London Emergency Services Liaison Panel Major Incident Procedures Manual. Snappy title huh?!
It was published in hard copy only in, or around 1986, and was the first attempt to describe the multi agency response to a civil emergency.
- Are you an emergency planner with an extensive library?
- Do you know any ex police/fire/ambulance staff? Are they a bit of a hoarder?
- If so, share this post with them or encourage them to contact me!
Why am I after a document that’s as old as I am?
LESLP started life in different times. Whilst many of the risks that London faced in 1973 are the same in 2015, others have changed and more have been identified (hello: cyber hacking). However, it’s not just the risks that change, the capacity and capability to respond have also changed.
It’s hard to look at how things have changed when you weren’t there to experience it first hand. From the outside the police in 2015 is markedly different to the Life on Mars image I have in my mind. Similarly for the other emergency services, there has been massive change not just in terms of what can be done, but also in how things are done.
A couple of years ago, as a response to Lady Justice Hallett’s inquest report, the Home Office initiated the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme. The aim was to develop national consistency regarding major and complex incident response. However, in London LESLP has been in place for over 40 years, and there was a sense from some corners of ‘we already do that’. True, the LESLP procedures do call for joint working and articulate organisational roles and responsibilities. However, I thought, wouldn’t it be an interesting exercise to compare Version 1 with Version 9 to see how things have changed? How have lessons from incidents have been incorporated into policy? What about international best practise and changes in national response capability, have they been included? And most importantly of all, wouldn’t this sort of historical analysis make for a fine blog piece!
However, tracking down the first edition is proving to be more problematic than I initially thought! The Met Police are the document owners, but the my colleagues there don’t have a copy. I’ve contacted the Cabinet Office and Emergency Planning College (who were able to send me a copy of Version 2, but didn’t have version 1). I’ve also contacted the Met Police Heritage Centre, the London Fire Brigade Museum and the Emergency Planning Society. I haven’t heard back from those organisations yet but I’m beginning to think that Version 1 might be a wild goose.
I hope that you’re able to help me in my search. I’m a big believer in the six degrees of separation. I know I’m only a connection away from finding someone who has what I’m after!