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K08 Community Impact Assessments

1. Security protective marking

1.1. Not protectively marked.

2. Summary of changes

2.1. The following changes have been made to this policy on 22 February 2011:

    • This policy was first introduced on 22 February 2011.

       2.2. This policy was scheduled for review February 2013. The review for this policy is on hold pending the Kent Police Policy Restructure throughout 2013/14.

3. Application

3.1. This policy applies to:

  • Senior Management Teams
  • Operational Commanders
  • Duty managers
  • Police supervisors
  • Neighbourhood teams
  • Tasking and Coordination Units
  • Community Liaison Officers.

4. Purpose

4.1. This policy aims to highlight the benefits of the Community Impact Assessment (CIA) process and how this should be viewed as complementary to improving our service delivery, particularly when considering our diverse communities within Kent and Medway.  

4.2 Although CIAs are highlighted in the Critical Incident Management processes staff should consider the use of a CIA before a critical incident has been declared for such an assessment may prevent any situation from developing in to a critical incident. Early consideration of a CIA process is vital. Reference should be made to policy M118 Critical Incidents.

5.  Introduction

5.1. The police service has a tradition of policing with the consent of the communities it serves. This tradition recognises that policing is at its most successful when it is based on the active and voluntary participation of all members of the community.

5.2. The police service must build and maintain the trust and confidence of citizens by delivering an effective police response to all incidents if it is to gain the participation of the communities it serves.

5.3. Involving the community at an early stage will lessen the impact of an incident and provide a bridge between the police and the victim or the wider community. It is important to remember that communities will generally fall within the following two categories and efforts should be made to identify support from the specific community affected.

5.3.1.  Community of interest: relates to a community with a shared experience, interest or characteristic. In line with the Equality Act 2010 these communities have been categorised into the following nine protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion and Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

5.3.2. Kent Police Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) can offer tactical advice when engaging with all social identities, which frequently belong to more than one community.

5.3.3. Community of place: Kent Police and Kent Police Authorities' Joint Community Engagement Strategy highlights that as well as communities of interest, communities are also defined geographically as communities of place.

5.4. Neighbourhood policing officers will play a key role in identifying strong local communities, which may be affected by a critical incident.

6.  Protecting the public

6.1. The CIA process is viewed as significant by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in improving our Protective Services in order to deliver effective protection to the public.

6.2. Protective Services are highlighted as:

  • Organised Crime;
  • Major Crime, such as serial murders;
  • Critical Incident Management – single events that significantly impact on public safety;
  • Civil Contingencies – natural threats or disasters, such as rail crashes;
  • Public Order;
  • Roads Policing – in this context, the use of the roads by criminals;
  • Protecting Vulnerable People - there were four sub-categories under this heading – domestic abuse, missing persons, child abuse and the management of violent and sexual offenders;
  • Counter Terrorism;
  • Domestic Extremism; and
  • Firearms.

6.3. One of the measures of good policing is achieving the confidence and the satisfaction of the public. To achieve this we will:

  • Engage with the communities of Kent and Medway.
  • Provide them with relevant information for their needs.
  • Listen to their concerns and honestly respond to them.
  • Engage with partners, understand their needs and how we can work more efficiently/effectively together.

6.4. CIAs will specifically be considered relevant to the processes of implementing powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 as well as complementary to the ongoing review of general Terrorism Act powers, such as Schedule 7 Stop and Search within the frontier environments.

7. The Community Impact Assessment process

7.1. The purpose of a CIA is to identify factors that may have an effect on community tranquillity. A comprehensive community impact assessment will also provide:

  • Enhanced investigative assessment;
  • Protection of vulnerable individuals and groups;
  • Promotion and retention of community confidence;
  • Development of community intelligence;
  • An understanding of all aspects of the incident being dealt with.

7.2. CIAs should be carried out efficiently and provide an accurate interpretation of the effect the incident may have / has had on the community. This should include assessing the quality of the police response and whether it is proportionate, given the circumstances of the incident.

7.3. It is important, whoever has responsibility for completion of the CIA, that they understand the fundamental purpose for doing so. In view of this there should be specialist professional and community knowledge held by the author of the CIA. It will be appropriate to involve community tactical advisors locally, such as CLOs, Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NHP), Counter Terrorism Intelligence Officers (CTIO) or Community Engagement Officers (CEO).

7.4. A CIA (form 3447) is to be carried out for all Critical Incidents and it is the responsibility of the Gold Commander to ensure that this is completed as soon as practicable. CIAs are to be regularly reviewed and recorded as part of an ongoing process.

7.5. Assessments should be regularly reviewed and recorded, taking into account emerging issues. These may involve cross-border considerations (e.g. where an incident takes place in one District and the family lives in another).

7.6. It should also be remembered that some communities have both national and international links.

7.7. Although prompt action can recover a poor police response, community issues and concerns can often demand the involvement of the police and other agencies over a longer period of time. Commanders should, therefore, be prepared to allocate the necessary long-term resources to rebuild community confidence.

7.8. Consultation and engagement with community representatives and public community meetings should be considered at an early stage to identify and address community concerns and to maintain overt transparency of the police response.

7.9. In addition to the local community, such meetings may involve:

  • Family members and/or their representatives;
  • Community group leaders;
  • Stakeholder partners;
  • Independent Critical Incident Advisors;
  • Independent Advisory Group members;
  • Gold Group member(s);
  • Community Liaison Officers;
  • Neighbourhood policing officers;
  • Counter Terrorism Intelligence Officers;
  • Community Engagement Officers;
  • Media Services.

7.10. CLOs maintain knowledge of key people within their Districts who make up the District’s diverse communities and are in a position to provide objective advice on the likely reaction of diverse communities to critical incidents and the intended policing response.

7.11. The difference between Independent Advisory Group (IAG) members and Independent Critical Incident Advisors (ICIA).

7.11.1. ICIAs are not the same as IAG members. ICIAs will have been vetted and received specialist training and guidance in assistance they provide Kent Police in the management of a critical incident. They should, therefore, be used solely during the management of an incident.

7.11.2. IAG members are representative of certain communities and do not perform the same role of an ICIA. Where appropriate the Chair of the Strategic or Local (as appropriate) IAG should be informed of the existence of a critical incident and consideration given to involving IAG member(s) in the post management of the incident to obtain community feedback on how the management of the critical incident may have affected a particular community.

8. The Community Impact Assessment form

8.1. Kent Police currently have the CIA document available in Microsoft Word (form - 3447).

Note: The CIA form 3447 has been reviewed and a new information technology solution is being progressed.

8.2. Regardless of how the CIA is recorded the contents of this section will still be relevant.

8.3. Initial information consists of 3 types:

  • Experienced - What the community is ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’, reactions to media etc.
  • Evidenced - What actual evidence do we have e.g. crime reports, Storm incidents, 5x5x5 etc.
  • Potential  - Factors that might influence tension such as religious festivals, protest marches, national/international events.

8.4. Once the initial information is included in the assessment then an action plan should be implemented to deal with any community issues or tensions identified.

8.5. In practice this will probably be delegated to a senior officer with responsibility for community or neighbourhood policing.

8.6. Additional information provided on the CIA will require the need for effective ongoing review processes.

8.7. The scoring system as a tension indicator is identical to the one used by the National Community Tension Team allowing consistency across all police forces and national agencies.

8.8. As information is added and graded using the scoring system, the electronic format automatically updates the final grades on page one. This also includes an arrow system so it can be seen at a glance whether tensions are going up, down or remaining the same. 

8.9. The document should be viewed as complementary to intelligence processes and can be used for pre-planned events/operations or post critical or major incident. It is intended as a tool for managing community tensions. 

9. Management and review

9.1. To ensure that CIAs are sufficiently monitored and to help identify lines of accountability, the following protocols will be adhered to:

9.1.1. All CIAs should be included on the agenda of the daily management meeting and included in the Duty Manager's report.

9.1.2. The Chair of the Tasking and Co-ordination Group (T&CG) will identify a CIA owner for each Critical Incident.

9.1.3. The Tasking and Coordination Unit (TCU) will keep a record of CIAs, their owners and their status.

9.1.4. Completed CIAs will be filed as necessary on a District or department according to the nature of the incident.

9.1.5. Electronic copies of all CIAs should be forwarded to the relevant TCU or department, who will be responsible for their local electronic filing.

9.1.6. Storage and subsequent access needs to be considered in the context of the potential sensitivities of the content.

9.1.7. As these are ‘living’ documents, owners should submit updated copies to the relevant TCU or department for electronic filing.

9.1.8. Outputs from CIAs, such as action plans, should be included in the T&CG process and inform organisational learning.

9.1.9. There should be a monthly review by the Senior Management Team (SMT), of the progress of each CIA. The SMT reviewer will review the TCU record and task appropriate managers to conduct/advance assessments and their reviews before they are finally submitted to the BCU commander/department head or their deputies.

9.2. Consideration should be given to local reviews of CIAs with partnership agencies and independent advisors, where appropriate. Such a process may be able to identify broader organisational learning and optimum practice.

9.3. Organisational learning should be linked to the new Organisational Learning IT Product when it is finalised.

10. Further advice and guidance

 10.1. Kent Police’s Diversity Support Team can:

  • Advise on best practice across the force;
  • Regularly review the procedure to identify areas of good practice or the need for change;
  • Provide advice and guidance to line supervisors on the correct implementation of the procedure;
  • Provide advice as to the legal aspects consulting with specialist associations where necessary.

11. Retention and disposal of records


11.1. Documents mentioned in the above policy will be retained for the period specified in the Disposal Schedule.

12. Equality impact assessment


12.1. This policy has been assessed with regard to its impact on equality. As a result of this assessment the policy has been graded as having a high potential impact.

12.2. Attached is the latest equality impact assessment that forms part of the policy review process.

Policy reference: K08 Community Impact Assessments
Policy owner: Chief Superintendent Partnerships and Communities
Contact point: Policy Unit, 01622 654662
Date last reviewed: 22 February 2011
Document last saved: 15 October 2013