Essex County Fire and Rescue Service: Cause of concern revisit letter
In September and October 2021, we inspected Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and found that a cause of concern identified in our 2019 inspection hadn’t been fully addressed. The cause of concern was:
- The service has insufficient resources to meet its risk-based inspection programme. It is currently not meeting its targets. As a result, partially skilled operational staff are carrying out high-risk visits, although the service acknowledges that these are not audits. There is an absence of quality assurance of audits and visits. There is a low amount of enforcement activity. There is limited proactive engagement with businesses to promote fire safety.
Essex County FRS submitted documents, including a new risk-based inspection programme 2023/24 and a draft quality assurance policy, to address the cause of concern.
On 17 and 18 January 2023, we revisited the service to review progress. This letter provides an update on our findings.