Saturday, July 28, 2007


The final Policing post from the West Yorkshire Police Ops Support open day is the CBRN team. CBRN stands for Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear. This is the team that responds to incidents that could be terrorist related, or possibly industrial accidents causing hazards. Their main role is for initial assessment at unknown substance incidents in conjunction with partner agencies (undefined, but presumably the Armed Forces and Agencies like the National Radiological Protection Board which became part of the Health Protection Agency in 2005. The team demonstrated a range of their equipment for detection and protection, including protection suits and gas masks.

Despite all the interesting stuff with dogs, horses, hi-tech gear & choppers, this is a reminder that it is all for a serious purpose and often ties in with violent behaviour, really horrible incidents and sometimes death. The Police need to be able to handle most things thrown at them, expected or otherwise.

The centre at carr Gate had lots of other teams dealing with motorway patrols, logistical support, a VIPs, collision investigation, motorbikes and even a wildlife officer. It is a little village with several buildings sprawled across the site and it is rare that the Public would get an opportunity to go there. The site had been earmarked for a new Force Headquarters building a few years back but all of the likely Force merger plans (that came to nothing) scuppered that.

No doubt all 43 Police Forces in England and Wales have similar arrangements to a greater or lesser extent (some Forces share Helicopters, for example). I found it re-assuring- I didn't feel that the facilities were ostentatious (far from it) or neglected, giving us good value from taxpayer money. If you need to do a job, best to do it properly.

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