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PROGRESS FOR POLICE & FIRE SERVICE MILLENNIUM READINESS

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Independent assessments' of police and fire services readiness to cope with the millennium bug shows that steady pr...
Independent assessments' of police and fire services readiness to cope with the millennium bug shows that steady progress is being made in both services.

Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) and Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate (HMFSI) assessments indicate that each service's progress is 'so far so good'.

Home office minister responsible for millennium issues, George Howarth said:

'I am pleased to say that the emerging picture shows that steady progress is being made by the fire and police services. However, we must not allow complacency to creep in.

'As the responsible body, the home office takes this work very seriously. No one can afford to rest on their laurels.

'If a force or brigade is assessed as 'red', an action plan must be produced and they will be re-inspected before July. It is vital that we ensure that all systems will be ready in the soonest possible time.'

The HMFSI has currently assessed 39 fire brigades in England and Wales. Of these, 19 have been coded as 'blue', 19 coded as 'amber' and one coded as 'red', under the National Infrastructure Forum's traffic light system of readiness coding. The remaining 10 brigades will be assessed by the end of April.

HM Inspector of Fire Services Keith Phillips said:

'Good progress has been made by the fire service to ensure it is ready for the millennium date change. There is already a good proportion of brigades that have achieved a 'blue' colour rating, the highest mark possible under the classification. I am confident that the remaining brigades will achieve a blue standard by September.'

HMIC has so far inspected 22 police forces and have coded 18 'amber' and four 'red'. As well as the 43 English and Welsh forces the Inspectorate will also assess the readiness of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, National Crime Squad and the British Transport

Police.

Assistant Inspector of Constabulary David Gilbertson said:

'Police force's progress to tackle the bug is so far so good. In many areas forces have developed action plans and a timetable and are getting to grips with the problem. It is crucial that forces that are currently coded as 'red' address the problem urgently.'

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