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M116 Operational Working Near Water

1. Security protective marking

1.1 Not protectively marked.

1.2 This policy has a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that remains restricted under exemptions covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

2. Summary of changes to policy

2.1. The following changes have been made to this policy on 7 November 2011:

      • The SOP has been updated.
      • Terminology has been updated in line with the new Kent Policing Model.
      • Policy updated to include police staff.

2.2. This policy is due for review in October 2014.

3. Application

 3.1. This policy applies to all operational police officers and police staff.


4. Purpose

4.1.  This policy details the procedures, responsibilities and arrangements necessary to enable Kent Police to maintain effective operational standards where there are spontaneous and unplanned duties near water that may involve significant risk of injury.



5. Introduction 

5.1.  Individuals engaged in operational work near to sources of water that present significant risk to life or health are expected to assess the situation and identify appropriate action to be taken in order to minimise any potential risk of injury or danger to themselves, colleagues or the public who may be assisting them.

5.2.  Planned policing operations involving duties at or near water which pose a significant risk to staff engaged on the operation will be subject to a documented risk assessment detailing the operating procedures to be followed

6. Dynamic risk assessments 

6.1.  There is an obligation on Kent Police to ensure that all staff are sufficiently skilled in carrying out dynamic assessments of workplace situations to avoid unnecessary and inappropriate accidents or injury.

6.2.  This policy identifies one aspect of Policing where that skill and ability is of paramount importance. A dynamic risk assessment must take into consideration the level of skill of the personnel in attendance. If practicable the Force Control Room Inspector or Divisional Duty Manager must be informed of the circumstances before any rescue is attempted. It is a corporate responsibility to ensure all personnel receive dynamic risk assessment training in order to meet the requirements of this policy. All staff are therefore required to successfully complete the Risk Assessment training programme on the force Intranet system, in line with area safety policy.

7. Spontaneous incident on or near water- initial action 

7.1.  The first officer attending the scene of an incident on or near water must undertake an initial assessment for the purpose of providing a situation report to the Force Control Room to ensure that the correct response is actioned. They should also request the attendance of other Police assets such as the force‚Äôs Marine Unit and other emergency services such as the Coastguard or Kent Fire and Rescue Service, where considered appropriate.

8. Equality impact assessment

8.1. This policy has been assessed with regard to its relevance to race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment the policy has been graded as having a low potential impact.


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

Policy reference: M116 Operational Working Near Water
Policy owner: Chief Superintendent Tactical Operations
Contact point: Policy Unit, 01622 652622
Date last reviewed: 14 October 2009
Document last saved: 15 April 2014