Initial coverage of today’s report on last July’s London bombings is pretty negative. Inevitably, I suppose… there’s no news in the things that went right, only the things that went wrong. So it’s worth highlighting the compliments paid to two particular organisations:
Transport for London recorded 600,000 visitors compared to the usual number of around 100,000. Transport for London sent out more than 600,000 e-mails on 7 July between 3 pm and 5 pm to people registered on its e-mail alerting system, and more than 50 per cent of these were opened within an hour. The Metropolitan Police Service updated its website 27 times during the day, and received 1.5 million ‘hits’.
We would like to record the remarkable achievement by both Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Service in maintaining their systems despite the peaks in the numbers of visitors to their websites.
There’s interesting talk of something called ‘CasWeb’ in the Met’s Casualty Bureau:
When it became operational, there were 42,000 attempted calls to the Casualty Bureau in the first hour. Each call lasted between seven and twelve minutes. We understand that, to handle the volume of calls that were received, 2,500 call-takers would be required. It is obviously not possible to put in place a Casualty Bureau of that size within hours of the onset of an incident. There will always be capacity issues. However, we have been given reassurances that the new ‘Casweb’ technology being introduced by the MPS will significantly increase the capacity of any future Casualty Bureau to answer large volumes of calls.
Does this sound like a searchable database of who’s definitely OK, and who isn’t? Great idea if it is. With so many people working in offices, a website (assuming it’s well enough publicised) would be a great way to reduce the strain on call centres and phone networks. I’m not sure what the site would tell you if you searched for someone confirmed as ‘dead’, though.