Understand the risk

We are an active member of the Devon, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum (LRF) a group that assesses local risks to our communities and present this information within a Community Risk Register (CRR). The CRR is a strategic level document. Its purpose is to assess the risks within the local resilience area so that responders can prepare, validate and exercise contingency plans. It allows work to focus on a rational basis of priority and need.

The CRR assists with identifying emerging issues and those where the risk or threat is increasing or decreasing. It can also assist in identifying gaps in capability, and inform the planning process in respect of the scale of response that may be required.

It is accepted that the CRR does not cover all eventualities. However, there is no need to assess every single risk, particularly those with a very low likelihood of occurring. Neither is there a requirement to individually assess all risks on a neighbourhood by neighbourhood basis. Many risks are assessed on their impact across the entire LRF area and all risks assessed constitute a Major Incident or emergency.

The completion of the CRR is a statutory duty and we are legally required to co-operate in maintaining this Register.

The risk rating process works as follows:

1.    An assessment of the likelihood of an event occurring in Devon, Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly over the next five years is given a score of one to five; one being the lowest (negligible) and five being the highest (probable).

2.    The impact of an event occurring in the areas is mapped against the impact on the health, social, economic and environmental aspects of our community. The scoring values are also one to five, with one being the lowest (insignificant) and five the highest (catastrophic).

The Community Risk Register is compiled using a six stage process.

1. Contextualisation

This involves defining the nature and scope of the local risk climate and agreeing how the risk management process will be undertaken.

2. Identify hazards & threats

  • industrial accidents
  • transport accidents
  • severe weather
  • structural hazards
  • human health
  • animal health
  • plant disease
  • public protest
  • industrial action
  • industrial technical failure

3. Risk analysis

The risks are assessed as to whether they are likely to occur within the next five years. This is done by considering the outcome of an incident before considering how likely an occurrence would be. Each individual risk is allocated to a Lead Assessor but are developed through consultation with all partners.
Every agency has the responsibility to constantly review the CRR, and any factors which may change the risk assessment and inform the Lead Assessor so they can review and if necessary update the risk accordingly.

4. Risk evaluation

Once the individual risk assessments have been completed and validated, consideration must be given to historical data, national and regional risk assessments, statistical information, experience, enquiry reports and lessons learnt.

Risks are then evaluated, scored and consolidated within a Risk Assessment Framework. Sensitive information is excluded from the Framework.

5. Risk treatment

The CRR serves as a means for ensuring a commonly agreed starting point for responders in their approach to emergency planning. The LRF evaluate and prioritise risk reduction measures according to the size of the risk and any gaps in the capability required for response.

6. Monitoring and reviewing

All risks should be reviewed regularly, and monitored continuously. Where information suggests a potential change, this will be incorporated into a revised risk assessment. A formal review of all the Risks takes place every four years although all risk are validated on an annual basis.


In line with national guidance and the Regional Risk Register, the Devon, Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LRF Community Risk Register only covers non-malicious events (i.e. hazards) rather than threats (i.e. terrorist incidents). This does not mean that we are not considering threats within our risk assessment work, but given the sensitivity of the information supporting these risk assessments and the potential for use by adversaries, specific details will not be made available to the public. Threat scenarios that are being considered include, for example, Chemical, Biological, Radiological attacks and Electronic attacks, e.g. affecting utilities and communications.

See UK threat level for current information on a terrorist attack.


Whilst there is a legal requirement to publish the CRR, this does not extend to individual risk assessments or other sensitive documents.

National Risk Register

See the current National Risk Register for information of the likelihood and potential impact of civil emergency risks.