PSNI: UNDERWATER SEARCH UNIT
In 2006 as a result of a strategic review of the underwater search provision within PSNI, it was decided by senior command to ‘outsource’ the diving and Working in Confined Spaces (WICS) capability to civilian service providers. Such an approach is in accordance with “Workforce Modernisation”, a policy driven by the Home Office, which aims to have police officers returned to front line duties.
Historical figures would suggest that, approximately, a deployment figure of 57 operational dives per year could be anticipated. These operational deployments would range from recovery of human remains, security searches regarding VIP visits, searches for small items of evidence in murder and other serious crime investigations and searches in relation to missing persons. An individual task may take anything from an hour to an entire day, and on occasions complex operations may be extended to a number of days.
Standard of Operations and Staff
All diving operations will be conducted in accordance with the Inshore Diving Approved Code of Practice published by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (see http://www.hseni.gov.uk/legislation) and supplemented by the Approved Code of Practice for Police Diving.
For the duration of any diving operation, each diver must:
1.Be fully qualified as per the Health and Safety Executive Part Three Certificate or equivalent, and;
2.Be medically certified by a Health and Safety Executive Approved Medical Practitioner;
All confined space operations will be conducted in accordance with the Safe Work in Confined Spaces (WICS) Approved Code of Practice published by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (see Http://www.hseni.gov.uk/legislation).
Full details of the requirement are set out in the tender documentation.