PSNI Emergency Planning Unit works together with local government, statutory and community partners in planning for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disruption.  Examples include widespread flooding, severe weather or other major incidents. 

Civil Contingencies

The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and the Northern Ireland Civil Contingencies Framework provide statutory guidance for this work.

PSNI Officers Deploying Sand Bags as Flood Defence

The Strategic Coordination Centre in PSNI Headquarters is a purpose built facility for joint coordination.  This enables partners to work more effectively together and share resources and expertise, to mitigate the impact of emergencies on communities.  Major events have been planned and delivered from this from this location, including the G8 Summit, Olympic Torch Relay, Giro D’Italia and Queen’s Baton Relay.

The Emergency Planning team is the PSNI link to the National Police Coordination Centre, monitoring police capability in line with national standards.

Search and Rescue

PSNI is responsible for coordinating land based search and rescue in Northern Ireland.  The PSNI search and rescue team works alongside statutory and voluntary partners.  This collaborative approach to the delivery of search and rescue is overseen by the Department of Justice.

Underwater Search

PSNI use underwater search for the recovery of evidence, the forensic examination of potential crime scenes and in the search for missing persons. 


PSNI officers are trained to respond to and minimise harm in the event of an incident involving Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) or other hazardous materials.

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Officers assisting during the Armagh - Dublin Giro D'Italia Event

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Search and Rescue Team

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Underwater Search Team

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CBRN officers carrying out a search