How Business Continuity is Built into Australian Police Operations

Crime-busting is a key part of their activities, but police forces in Australia also have a much wider remit to protect communities. People naturally turn to the police of help and guidance if there is an emergency, making police officers the first to respond to many situations requiring rescue or evacuation, for instance. Senior officers may be tasked with the job of controlling emergency situations and coordinating support for teams from other public organisations or government agencies. Police forces in different states also make information available on their websites on how disasters handled and business continuity maximised. In all of this, however, there’s one bit of info in particular that should be emphasized…

That key piece of information, or advice, is to actually look at what’s on the website! Just as disaster recovery plans or business continuity plans in an enterprise or a school need to be known by the people concerned, so should the content on these police webpages. For example, would you know what the SEWS is there to do – in fact, would you know what SEWS stands for? As the Victoria Police site points out, the SEWS is the Standard Emergency Warning Signal. This is the “wailing” siren sound that is broadcast on radio, television, or in public areas, to indicate that an important safety message will then be broadcast soon after.

The Victoria Police site also links to a handy one-page community evacuation document. The moral of the story is the same: you have to read it to get the benefit. Other Australian state police forces also provide information, making their own choices about format and content. For example, the Queensland Police site makes a list of downloadable “disaster recovery” PDF documents available. The one for Rockhampton for example runs to an impressive 159 pages – something that local organisations and their business continuity teams should check out well in advance of any disaster occurring!