London Fire Brigade

Fire Authority response to riots panel report

29 November 2011

The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has welcomed the publication of the interim report from the Communities and Victims Panel. The panel has been looking into the causes of August’s civil disturbances and making recommendations to improve the response in future such events.

Firefighters in London were battling, on average, one fire every nine minutes for five consecutive days during the civil disturbances. Firefighters attended at least 807 fires between Saturday 6 August and Wednesday 10 August. The Brigade's 999 control staff also saw an extraordinary number of calls. For four nights in a row, between Saturday 6 August and Tuesday 9 August, staff were handling, on average, one call every 48 seconds.

The Fire Authority welcomes the report’s recommendation that authorities should consider convening the London-wide Gold Team in any future riots. This would undertake planning and allocate resources on a London-wide basis, while helping to co-ordinate the recovery of communities. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has a central and  important role to play in convening and supporting such a Gold Team.

Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, Cllr Brian Coleman, said:

“It is vital that the lessons from last summer’s civil disturbances are learnt and this report is a welcome first step. Those five days in August saw some despicable behaviour and firefighters acted with utmost courage to keep London safe.

“The report makes a valuable suggestion that authorities should consider convening a London-wide Gold Team during any future riots. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority has a central role to play in convening and supporting such a team. We will look forward to working with colleagues at City Hall to ensure the necessary steps are taken to put this recommendation into practice.”

ENDS