- British Transport Police, Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) had a duty to maintain plans for a response to an emergency within Greater Manchester.
- They were obliged to consider collaborating with emergency responders when planning for an emergency and to make provision for training and exercising when planning for an emergency.
- They were obliged to co‑operate in their local resilience forum and attend resilience forum meetings every six months.
- North West Fire Control was under a contractual obligation to assist GMFRS in fulfilling its obligations.
Civil Contingencies Act 2004
Central to the civil contingencies regime at the time of the Attack was the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (the 2004 Act).Underpinning and complementing it were the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) Regulations 2005 (the 2005 Regulations).
Section 2(1) and Schedule 1 of the 2004 Act described a number of organisations as “Category 1 responders”. Category 1 responders include all blue light emergency services. British Transport Police (BTP), Greater Manchester Police (GMP), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) were all Category 1 responders.
Section 2(1)(d) of the 2004 Act placed a legal requirement on Category 1 responders to maintain emergency plans (the emergency plans duty). The purpose of these plans included ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a Category 1 responder can perform its function to respond to, reduce, control or mitigate the effect of an emergency, if it occurs.
Under its Agreement for Services with GMFRS, North West Fire Control (NWFC) undertook to make suitable arrangements to support GMFRS in fulfilling GMFRS’s responsibilities in relation to Major Incidents and civil contingency events.
The 2005 Regulations
Regulation 4 of the 2005 Regulations required Category 1 responders in England and Wales to co‑operate as part of a “local resilience forum” within their area of operation. Local resilience forums were required to meet at least once every six months. Category 1 responders had, so far as was reasonably practicable, to attend these meetings or be effectively represented at them.
Regulation 8 of the 2005 Regulations provided Category 1 responders with the option of performing the emergency plans duty jointly with another responder.
Regulation 22 of the 2005 Regulations required Category 1 responders to consider whether it would be appropriate to perform the emergency plans duty by collaborating with other Category 1 responders to maintain a multi‑agency plan.
Regulation 25 of the 2005 Regulations required plans prepared under the emergency plans duty to provide for the carrying out of training and exercising. In relation to both, this is for the purpose of ensuring that the plan is effective.