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Advice on Event Planning – What the Police Want to See From Safe, Secure Events
All police forces across the UK recognise the value and importance of public events whether that is a sporting tournament that brings a significant boost to the local economy or a music festival that enhances our enjoyment of summer and all that it brings. Safety at public events has always been a priority but against a backdrop of new and very real potential threats, the onus on event planner and organisers to get event planning right has never been greater. So what do the police ask of event organisers?
Event organising points you must consider
1. The responsibility of the safety of an event lies with the event organisers
The police are the body that enforces the current laws of the UK. They cannot get involved in civil matters, only criminal ones. Although they are part of keeping the local community safe, it is not their job to ‘police’ local events. They will, of course, have a vested interest in making sure that any event is well-organised and current event organising best practice followed.
2. Access event planning support and advice
There is a range of advice and event planning advice available, including event security staffing agencies like us. Discussions around event security best practice are also worth noting as this can ensure your event runs smoothly.
Local authority areas will also have a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) of which the police are key members. Chaired by the local authority, the police will focus on dealing with crime, disorder as well as guidance on handling emergencies, lost child procedures and more.
There are other issues that your event security team will including dealing with suspicious packages and substances. It’s a sad fact that dealing with a terrorist incident or knife crime are also two issues at the forefront of event security at the moment too.
3. Traffic management
A common criticism levelled at event organisers – and the police by default – is poor traffic management around events. At the start or end of an event when large crowds of people arrive or leave the event venue, you will need to consider close attention to traffic management.
This is not a police issue, although they will want to understand provision in case of emergencies but should be planned in conjunction with the local authority highways department. There are many risks to consider when it comes to effective traffic management at an event. Even when an event runs smoothly, emergency services will want to know arrangements for access to an event should there be an emergency.
4. Don’t forget to have the correct licenses in place (if needed)
Licensable activities are covered under the Licensing Act 2003 but broadly speaking cover four main categories:
i. The sale of alcohol
ii. The supply of alcohol to a member of a club
iii. Provision of regulated entertainment
iv. Provision of late night entertainment
You may need a licence or a Temporary Event Notice. Contact the local authority of the area in which you are holding your event to check if or what licence you need.
Why arranging your own event security is important?
You can ask the local police to attend your event, something that will require payment. The police will often welcome opportunities to engage with the local community but their presence cannot be relied on. After all, they are an emergency response service meaning their offices and PCSOs could be withdrawn at any moment to deal with calls. And this is why arranging your own event security staff is simply essential.