Operational Centres TIG meeting in Athens

Operational Centres TIG meeting in Athens

Operational Centres TIG meeting in Athens

ENLETS’ Operational Centres Technology Interest Group met in Athens as part of the i-LEAD Final Conference and TIG Meeting between the 15th-17th February 2023.

Following the appropriate scene-setting during the conclusion of the i-LEAD project, the group was ready for 2 days’ intensive session within the TIG.

There were many points covered during the event, and we have divided into the following sections:

  1. Training & Education
  2. Upcoming Focus Areas
  3. Pilots
  4. Supporting Deliverables
  5. Upcoming Meetings

Training & Education

The groups agreed to work on documents providing Training & Education for the OC community. All OC participants are asked to consider their Country’s position concerning numerous strategic challenges connected with Education and Training. The aim is to move towards consistent, common standards to be used as a baseline across Europe.

Upcoming Focus Areas:

In upcoming months, the TIG will address the following areas:

  • Demand of Operational Centres: determine the types of calls and demands received within an OC.
  • Staffing: a critical success factor for a successful and effective OC is the importance of competent staff. Thus, we must focus on attracting, recruiting and retaining capable personnel.
  • Training: OC Personnel are often the first points of contact. These people also need to be provided with quality training and ongoing support, recognition and opportunities for professional development. This is paramount and fundamental to an OC’s success.
  • Welfare: welfare and support of OC staff are crucial. It is not uncommon for staff to be exposed to victims of crime and other callers who are recalling highly emotional and stressful scenarios. These episodes can take their toll, and staff need supporting in this fast-paced environment.
  • Creating the right culture: Police Service culture is regularly characterised as a hard and unforgiving environment that new and existing staff find difficult to navigate. This must be acknowledged and addressed for positive changes to take root.

A good way to develop operational coordination and effectiveness is to ensure ENLETS Members develop a common set of minimum standards to offer greater cross-border cooperation. Smooth communication is key in all policing situations but particularly relevant in Operational Centres, especially during the ‘golden hour’ following a critical situation.

Pilots:

ENLETS has already started efforts on the communication topic during the recent pilot on cross-border communication and cooperation. On the 20th of January 2023, the TIG ran the first pilot of a Manhunt across borders.

During the Athens meeting, we had a short evaluation. The conclusion was that the pilot was a fruitful, challenging scenario, but we also learned some valuable lessons that we will incorporate into upcoming pilots. View a short clip summarising the recent pilot.

Future Pilots:

On 23rd March (10 am CET) we will have our next pilot, focusing on a natural disaster in Lapland in combination with a cross-border incident. In this pilot OCs from 9(!) different member countries will participate, and we involve both national and regional OCs.

In March, we will work on the pilot scenarios, covering:

  • Natural hazard / cross-border incident
  • Missing persons

The third pilot on missing persons will be carried out in mid-May 2023.

The goals for these pilots are:

  • The primary goal is to regularly train OC personnel (shift leaders) on fundamental cross-border communication in the golden hour. This will help us demonstrate the added value and thus create the right culture for future cross-border actions.
  • Enhance international cooperation between Member States and determine how we can work together cross-border – creating clarity about everyone’s role during an incident.
  • Showcase the added value of effectively exchanging operational information cross-border during the Golden Hour – highlighting the capabilities required.
  • Facilitate the elicitation of critical needs and requirements for effective cross-border information-sharing capabilities.
  • Highlight the challenges caused by the flood of information we see with the typical ‘data tsunami’ following a critical event. There is no script in real life; therefore, good-quality, consistent practice will help prepare all OCs to be better prepared in reality.

Supporting deliverables

To further support the enhancement of international cooperation and communication better members of OC-TIG, we are working on several deliverables to bolster the actions and pilots. In the meeting, participants presented their first drafts on:

  • Standard Operational Procedures
  • Code list
  • Critical factors in the Golden Hour

Upcoming Meetings OC-TIG

  • The group will continue its monthly online meetings from March 2023
  • We set the date for the next F2F meeting. It is probable that the group will connect in Rome between 23rd – 25th May 2023

If you want to join the TIG and contribute to similar events and activities, please ‘Join ENLETS’.

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