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Strategic Assessment of Risk

The Fire and Rescue National Framework identifies challenges that we have to deal with such as the continued threat of terrorism, the impacts of climate change, impacts of an ageing population and the need to cut the national deficit. In pursuit of our vision of “Creating safer communities”, it is important that these wider challenges are understood to help us plan to achieve our strategic objectives in a more informed manner.

To address these challenges, we will carry out a periodic assessment of risk to help us to consider the potential impact of external factors that may be a risk to our organisation. Where we identify risks, we need to respond. This may be to actively mitigate the risk or simply to monitor it, and indeed there may be risks that we choose to accept and to take no action. Ultimately, we must satisfy ourselves through this Strategic Assessment of Risk (SAoR) we have done all we can to prevent incidents, protect communities and are prepared to respond to incidents.

This is a summarised version of a larger technically detailed SAoR, which is held within our business operating model. It serves as a high-level public summary intended to give assurance that we have assessed and mitigated the risks strategically. These will be practically addressed through the working strategies developed to deliver the Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP).

The SAoR seeks to underpin and support our CRMP by ensuring that risk management drives decision-making to achieve our vision. It is a reference document which provides detail about areas of risk pertinent to the county of Nottinghamshire using the PESTLEO analysis model. This model supports a comprehensive and forward-looking assessment of the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal, and organisational (PESTLEO) factors that will both impact upon and shape service delivery during the life cycle of our next CRMP.

The political section provides context around the national and local political environment that could influence our organisation. At a local level, the governance model that NFRS operates within will influence the CRMP, as there will be political objectives and aspirations the Service will need to consider and support as part of a wider community strategy.

The economic section considers the influences of budgetary constraints which will become a key consideration when resourcing decisions are made to manage community risk within the CRMP process. However, before reaching this stage we need to understand the financial situation we are operating within, the budget available and the potential impact of these on the deployment of resources linked to Protection, Prevention and Response activity.

The social section explores where risk exists within our communities and provides in-depth analysis of the community we serve. The services we provide will be very similar to other services around the country, however, differences in communities exist and present different levels of risk that need to be mitigated. To effectively build and understand a community profile, the use of data is essential and the SAoR considers a range of social factors including:

  • Community demographics - Age, sex, gender, ethnicity, employment status, home ownership, population distribution and density, households with children.
  • Health related data and trends - Smoking habits, alcohol consumption, drug use, mental or physical impairment, frailty, mobility, oxygen usage, use of assistive technology.
  • Socioeconomic status - Levels of deprivation, evidence of fuel poverty.
  • Crime trends and analysis - Areas of antisocial behaviour, vandalism, arson.

The technological section explores the current and emerging risks that we need to consider in relation to technology, to ensure that we can meet our statutory function and continue to deliver our core functions. Understanding the availability and impact of technology can not only assist with activities but also provide solutions to help mitigate community risk.

The legal section highlights a range of legislation, frameworks, and guidance that direct and influence the approach that we must take to deliver our services to the public. The SAoR considers the key pieces of legislation that help us determine and understand our operating context to ensure we meet our statutory duties.

The environmental section explores a range of factors aligned to three key areas:

  • Built environment and infrastructure Detail and context relating to the built environment and infrastructure that could feature or be impacted as part of an operational response.
  • Climate change and environmental The effects and impact of climate change and the new and emerging technology that is designed to help reduce this. The inclusion of this information highlights the need for greater awareness and planning to support preparedness for an operational response.
  • Future developments Future developments, plans and strategies from partner organisations that will change the environmental landscape of the county in future years.

The organisational section provides a narrative on current and emerging fire sector workstreams, guidance and recommendations that we must consider and adopt, both now and in the future.

As a Service we aim to review our assessment of risk annually by analysing our external and internal operating environments as part of our corporate planning process. It is our job to ensure that we continually assess these changing risks and ensure we keep the communities of Nottinghamshire safe through our mitigation of risk and by prioritising our response. In addition to our annual process, we continue to analyse any emerging opportunities and threats throughout the year through our normal risk management processes.