Event security is an essential feature of any event and takes many forms, from car park marshalls to manned guarding.
Event security companies are regulated by the Security Industry Authority which is responsible for the private security industry.
Their employees are SIA registered licensed guards who have no criminal convictions and are licensed to engage in event security jobs such as manned guarding - whether guarding premises from break-in and unauthorised entry or close guarding individuals from risk of assault, door supervision, public space surveillance (CCTV) and immobilisation, restriction and removal of vehicles.
SIA licensed security guards are distinguished by their official identity badges that they wear at all times whilst on duty. Event security companies should always be able to demonstrate that they have full public liability insurance.
Whether or not an individual requires a licence is determined by the role that is performed and the activity that is undertaken. These are described fully in Section 3 and Schedule 2 of the Private Security Industry Act 2001.
There are a diverse range of events requiring different types of event security, ranging from corporate events such as conferences, exhibitions, seminars, productions, AGMs and company parties to private functions, parties and weddings. Music events require a carefully organised degree of event security whether at venues such as clubs or large festivals and stadium concerts - as do sporting events.
Event security management companies work with event organisers and promoters, providing them with peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that all bases are covered.
Turnstile operators use a small scanning machine to check tickets, ensuring that they are valid for the event.
Once visitors to the event have passed through the turnstiles they are met by security officers who perform pat-down searches to ensure that no undesirable items are concealed about the visitors. Should a visitor refuse to be patted down they would be refused entry by the security officer, resulting in the senior supervisor being summoned who would, in turn, take the guest to one side to allow smooth entry into the venue for the rest of the visitors. In such a circumstance the senior supervisor would then explain to the visitor the need to be searched for security reasons and, should the visitor persist in refusing to be patted down, the duty manager would be called who would, should the search refusal continue, request the event security personnel to escort the guest out of the venue.
Crowd managers liaise with the local police and meet with event organisers and the local authorities to ensure that a full risk assessment has been made with factors such as the number of event security staff, first aiders and police being calculated.
Security response teams are responsible for preventing illegal drugs activities and wounding of guests and can often be involved in other extraneous tasks as searching for missing children at events.
All events require the presence of a safety officer who can be provided by events security companies. The safety officer attends to first aid, health and safety, public safety and public liability.
Manned security guards, as has been mentioned earlier in this article, protect both premises and individuals. They can be seen in build up and loading areas where they occupy positions such as fire exits to ensure that only authorised people enter the premises. As the saying goes, 'If you're not on the list, you're not coming in' and event security staff are equipped with lists with all entrants' details fully documented. If contractors or individuals attempt to enter events without the appropriate ID they will be escorted to the entry gate by the security guard.
Events security companies are also able to provide events services personnel whose function, whilst related to events security personnel, differs in that they do not need to be licenced by the SIA. Such activities are more related to the provision of crowd safety management, safety stewards, car park marshalls and cloakroom staff.
This article was contributed by Anthony Hayes of Safe Events Security Company Limited