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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Casualty Bureau

Sadly we have to be ready to deal with the worst possible incidents so we can support the families of those affected by large scale tragic incidents. The Casualty Bureau is just one element of this, and it is something done in conjunction with other forces across the UK.

Call taker whiteThe Casualty Bureau is a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) for receiving and assessing information about people believed to be involved in a major incident with the main aims of providing information, tracing and identifying people involved and reconciling missing people with casualties, survivors and evacuee records.

We work on a national basis, supporting any UK force affected by an incident, and Staffordshire Police was part of the national casualty bureau response to the tragic incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market, Manchester Arianna Grande Concert and Grenfell Tower Fire.

It comprises of four units or disciplines:

  • Incident Contact Centre - who deal with the incoming calls from those affected or concerned about family members.
  • Casualty Information Unit - who record casualty, survivor and evacuee data collected from the scene of the incident.
  • Nominal Matching Unit - who match data and raise actions for liaison officers to deal with.
  • General Message Unit - who coordinate actions and provide the information to the wider emergency response.

The staff who are part of the casualty bureau are volunteer members of police staff (not usually police officers) who have other 'day jobs' in Staffordshire Police.

In Staffordshire our volunteers are trained to conduct the combined roles within the Incident Contact Centre and Casualty Information Unit.

The role entails call handling (talking to those affected) and inputting the information gathered into the National HOLMES Casualty Bureau computer system. Training comprises of one day per year on HOLMES Casualty Bureau and NMAT (National Mutual Aid Telephony).

In the event of activation volunteer operators would receive a standby text outlining that Staffordshire Police were required to set up an Incident Contact Centre on behalf of another force. 

Once activated Operators would attend a briefing and be issued with general instructions prior to taking calls via the national system. These will be received directly from members of the public and other agencies and each will require being assessed and input onto the HOLMES casualty bureau system using templated messages.

Other Operators may be used to input Casualty/Survivor/Evacuee Records onto the system.