10 point safety and security guide for events

Jill McCracken, director of tournament security for the England and Wales Cricket Board, gives her tips for a security checklist.

Jill McCracken
Jill McCracken

A police officer for more than 27 years, Jill McCracken established Operation Gothic which, through sharing of information and intelligence with event organisers, security and venues, significantly reduced crime, threats and risk at festivals and events. 

 

As an event organiser, you take on legal responsibilities. These responsibilities extend to your workforce, performers, exhibitors, and delegates attending your event.

It’s worth remembering that although safety and security are nearly always grouped together as a subject title; measures to keep the public secure from attack may inadvertently cause a public safety issue; so the two must be considered together and a balance struck.

1) Set your safety and security objectives

What is it you want to achieve? How will you achieve it? Where do your responsibilities start and end? This doesn’t have to be complicated, but spending a little time asking yourself these questions will help you clarify your position and plans.

2) Document your intelligence and information

Is your event likely to be targeted by criminal groups or individuals who may wish to engage in anti-social behaviour? Where is the event taking place? What incidents occur at similar events, or at events held in the same location? Your intelligence picture will help you understand the risks.

3) Understand the risks and be prepared to change your event plans accordingly

What are the safety and security priorities based upon your identified risks? Is it emergency access to your site, or a strong search regime? Is it keeping queuing guests off the highways? Do you have the capacity to increase the relevant resourcing or physical protection if there is a change to the threat levels? Monitor the situation during your event too, and be prepared to change your plan and tactics if necessary.

4) Engage with safety advisory groups

Engage with safety advisory groups, licensing authority and other sources of information. Talking to the statutory bodies and external partners will help you to find out more information about your event environment and any current national issues regarding safety and security.

Police Security Coordinators (SecCo’s) are a source of very valuable information. Always refer to statutory and up-to-date good practice guidance: the Health and Safety Executive’s Event Safety guidance has been recently updated and is a good starting point. Ensure you fulfil any licensing conditions that you may have volunteered to adopt, or which may be imposed upon you.

5) Work with suitably qualified, competent and experienced people

Do your research and check that your safety officer, security and stewarding teams understand all potential threats and risks, and are suitably experienced or qualified to manage crowds effectively.

Crowd management is a skill and a profession, with recognised qualifications for safety managers. The consequences of a safety or security issue can be very serious, so protect yourself, your staff and the public, and employ a professional to design your emergency access, evacuation, contingency and crowd management plans.

6) Ensure your communication plans are effective

Keep your communication lines open with all parties before, during and after the event. Make sure you keep regular contact so you know what’s happening and are aware of potential impacts. Think about the safety and security messages you need to convey to your customers before and during your event. For example, what’s the best way of telling them what they can and can’t bring in; or where the emergency exits are located? This will save time on searches and help reduce queues.

7) Test and exercise your plans

This doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Bring your key people together and look at recent issues at similar events, then ask yourself honestly if you are equipped to manage such incidents. Document your findings and update your plans accordingly.

8) Document your risks, the mitigation for those risks and stay vigilant

You must keep audit trails and records of your decisions. Always remember that if there were to be an enquiry, you would need to show your thought process and demonstrate the information that informed your planning.

9) Ask yourself: have you have taken all reasonable steps to keep people safe and secure?

The answer should be yes. Always. Would you be happy for your family and friends to attend your event? Would you be safe in the knowledge that they were safe and secure? Not only do you have a moral duty to care for your clients and staff; but the consequences of failing to do so can be severe.

10) Debrief your event honestly and openly

Again, this does not have to be time consuming or expensive; but the best way to improve is to seek honest feedback which, if you’ve planned appropriately, is likely to be positive! Embrace the positives, address the shortcomings, and remember that we all make mistakes; but that any mistakes must be rectified moving forward.

 

This article was taken from a guide produced by GL Events for event planners new to the industry which can be found here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
What to do if a disgruntled event attendee threatens legal action

What to do if a disgruntled event attendee threatens legal action

Keystone Law's James O'Flinn discusses your options and how to prevent this happening in the first place.

Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

Speakers announced for C&IT Northern Forum

New event takes place between 25-26 April at ACC Liverpool, with inspiring sessions from industry leaders.

Why personalisation is the key to measuring an event's success

Why personalisation is the key to measuring an event's success

Mike Leeson, general manager Europe at ETM, explains why ROE may be a better measurement than ROI.

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Oman to welcome IGRC in 2020

Sultanate to host the International Gas Union's 16th International Gas Research Conference at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Events company faces legal action from makers of video game Fortnite

Epic Games issues claim against Exciting Events after widely criticised event in Norwich.

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

Diary of a delegate: Beautiful Bergen

A three-day account of the C&IT A-List FAM trip, in partnership with Visit Norway.

Case study: Space to Breathe wellness event

Case study: Space to Breathe wellness event

Center Parcs hosted a wellness event for clients including MIA, Experian and the University of Nottingham.

The future of event feedback

The future of event feedback

A look at how new technology is changing the nature of feedback for event planners.

SevenEvents hires new project manager

SevenEvents hires new project manager

Jade Davies joins from Touch Associates and her new role will include developing client relationships.

Cievents VP talks US market trends, challenges and opportunities

Cievents VP talks US market trends, challenges and opportunities

Alison Howlett, vice president of live events, talks about creating business opportunities, US trends and popular destinations.

LATEST JOBS