Visitor Demand Multi-Agency Control Centre
Dorset Council were tasked with planning for and responding to the significant additional visitor demand as a result of easing from lockdown in Summer 2020 and the restrictions on foreign holidays at that time. The area was likely to see the highest number of visitors, particularly to Weymouth, that Dorset has ever seen and therefore there was an immediate need to organise and plan for the local authority’s response to this increased demand.
Negative experiences during the summer 2020 showed that some visitors to Dorset during the pandemic displayed different types of behaviour than was normally expected, as such this specific visitor demand group also responded in 2021 and 2022.
Controlled Events planned and manned a remote multi-agency control centre `MACC’ for the peak summer months (April-September 2020, 2021 and 2022). Patching into the wider radio network, the MACC provided a single point of contact for out-of-hours and peak days feeding daily situational awareness to 17 Dorset Council departments and six external stakeholders, including Dorset Police.
- Radio communications equipment provision
- Multi-Agency Control Centre Coordination
- ECR Manager incident logging
- Stakeholder & blue light engagement and coordination
- Project reporting and audit trail
As with any long project, the departmental engagement, demand, and stakeholder challenges evolved throughout the operation. As well as the expected increase in visitor demand, there were weather challenges as well as changes in social behaviour around EURO 2020, alongside planned and unplanned protests and events. Controlled Events were able to provide an agile service, adjusting the response and MACC timings weekly according to intelligence from the local resilience forum feedback and intelligence from Dorset Police. By hosting the MACC remotely, Controlled Events were able to provide a totally resilient service unaffected by peaks in the Covid-19 outbreak.
Features of the remote MACC
- Advanced use of technology to ensure a seamless experience for internal and external stakeholders
- Engagement in weekly operational group meetings via video link
- Facilitating Silver-hosted emergency briefings when required
- Monitoring social channels, news outlets and weather to ensure accurate situational awareness.
“In a nutshell, CE provided the service we needed which worked effectively and was well thought through and planned out. CE knew what radio systems were needed to patch into the wider network and how to coordinate a long-term project on a wide scale involving a huge range of stakeholders and blue light services”
Jack Wiltshire, Dorset Council
Benefits of working with Controlled Events
- Project efficiency
- Free up managers for other priorities
- Peace of mind
- Risk mitigation
- Audit trail
- Identifying lessons
“Controlled Events provided a combination of competence and experience that we didn’t have in one division of the council ourselves. Bringing in a team of people who are trained to step up in an emergency with the ability to adapt to changing scenarios, ultimately gave us peace of mind. Controlled Events were a huge asset to this project in terms of risk mitigation and giving us confidence at a very important time.”