May I take this opportunity firstly to wish you all both a happy and peaceful Christmas holiday and hopefully a prosperous 2018.
It has been a challenging year for policing in many ways, not least in the response to the threat of terrorism which has sadly loomed ever large in this country and beyond in 2017. Be assured that during the party season our of cers in Surrey will be working round the clock throughout the festive period to keep people safe.
In policing, we are a 24-hour-a–day emergency service operation so it is crucial to ensure that any disruption caused by a sudden or unexpected event does not impact on our ability to deliver the service residents rightly expect.
There are plans in place across the organisation to ensure we can respond quickly to circumstances such as snow or ooding whilst equally continuing to operate business as usual.
At this time of year, the cold winter months should serve as a timely reminder about ensuring your business continuity plans are also in place.
Research commissioned in the last few years by the Federation of Small Businesses discovered that almost 60% of small rms do not have plans in place for extreme weather.
As we have seen in Surrey with the widespread ooding in 2014, these events, whilst rare, can have a serious impact on our county, particularly on our already busy road network.
Although we may experience less snowfall in the UK than some other European countries, we should never be complacent about the impact of extreme winter weather.
Such events can heighten the risk to all organisations of issues such as site accidents, injuries to staff or visitors, closure or limited access to premises, loss of power, water supply or fuel or reduced personnel.
Of course bad weather is not the only issue that can have the potential to hamper your business. IT failure, re or a cyber-attack can be equally as damaging.
For more information about business continuity there is a helpful guide provided by Surrey County Council which can be found here: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/ people-and-community/emergency-planning- and-community-safety/emergency-planning/ business-continuity
Any plans should consider what risks you might face, their potential impact and what resources and contingencies you might need in place to maintain your business to an acceptable standard.
I hope most of you will have your own in place but it is worth reviewing and testing them on a regular basis to ensure they remain t for purpose.
If your staff can’t make it into work or you are unable to provide your usual service due to unforeseen circumstances then solid and workable business continuity plans could be worth their weight in gold.