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Department of Home Affairs' contribution to overall success of TT 18 June 2007

Pre-planning and co-operation with other departments and agencies led to a well managed TT operation by the Department of Home Affairs.

Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commended all involved:

‘All Divisions of the Department gave professional and committed support to the TT and I’m grateful for the efforts of all employees and volunteers who contributed to the overall success of the centenary festival,’ he said.
‘Pre-planning for the event has been on-going for more than a year and I want to take this opportunity to commend everyone involved for their hard work, recognising that the value of multi-agency co-operation and cross-Departmental working were fundamental to the event’s overall success.’

Collisions on the Mountain Road increased from 24 to 26 in total but, significantly, the one-way traffic system led to a 30% reduction in the number of collisions resulting in serious injury, which is remarkable given the 100% increase in traffic.

Crimes reported during the festival totalled 159, up just 21 from 138 the previous year, despite the estimated 60,000 visitors the Isle of Man welcomed during the festival. Careful planning with Department of Transport and event organisers avoided traffic gridlock and chaos. There were 222 arrests, 36 of which were for drugs offences. Most of the arrests were for public order offences such as drunkenness, with just one instance of a serious assault during the festival. Use of the Home Office CCTV system during the fortnight was very successful in supporting the Constabulary’s early intervention strategy which is believed to reduce the number of serious offences.

Mr Quayle added:

‘The friendly policing style of Isle of Man Constabulary is paying dividends and is justly receiving positive media coverage. Some police officers and support staff worked 12-14 hour shifts every day of the festival, and still retained good humour when dealing with the public. They were assisted by officers from Jersey, the Irish Garda and Germany, along with the Island’s Special Constables. Additionally, the work of our Community Volunteers was first class and our support staff wore many hats to maintain levels of service throughout the festival.’

The Communications Division of the Department notched up a record in the Emergency Services Joint Control Room. TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) traffic was up 33% on 2006, with Monday June 4 seeing 15,483 calls, the highest daily total since it became operational in 2004. Mad Sunday (June 3) was the busiest for 999 calls with 82. For more details see the activity reports.

The Island’s Civil Defence volunteers were called in to deal with an unexploded hand grenade which was discovered on farmland in the Ballaugh Glen area at the start of Practice Week. They maintained a secure cordon at the site until bomb disposal experts disposed of the item in a controlled explosion.

In addition to providing their normal contribution to TT race course communications, volunteers provided mobile and static communication points throughout Ramsey when the town’s telephone exchange failed, from 11pm on June 1 until 1am the next morning. Volunteers also opened a reception centre for witnesses of the accident at the 26th milestone that occurred during the Senior Race on June 8.

Two TT visitors were sentenced to jail terms at the Isle of Man Prison, Victoria Road, Douglas, during the fortnight. One existing prisoner was granted a temporary release licence during the festival but this was not connected with the reception of the TT visitors.

The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service attended 206 incidents during the TT period, three of which were inside the course during racing and one incident on closed roads. The extensive pre-planning and established procedures ensured that these were dealt with without impacting upon racing. Additional resources were deployed around the Island to ensure an effective operational response could be maintained. Staff were also engaged in fire safety inspections across a broad range of premises to offer advice and enhance community safety. The Fire Service has responded well to the additional workload and benefited from the partnership arrangements developed by the Department of Home Affairs.

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