Outdoor concert crowd enjoying a night performance, showcasing the need for robust security measures at public events.

Ensuring Safety at Public Events: Key Strategies for Special Event Security

Special events are gatherings taking place in our communities and consist of public events, sporting events, and fairs & festivals. In some cases, these can draw gatherings of thousands of people to a public area.

As you might guess, you’ll need to place a heavy emphasis on security in order to keep everyone safe. Let’s explore what you should know about implementing special event security.

Understanding Primary Threats

It should come as no surprise that you’ll need to have a comprehensive understanding of the primary threats to your event. For example, large gatherings frequently draw the attention of various types of criminals.

Although these typically include thieves, they could include violent offenders, as well. The most prominent threats that the event will experience heavily depends on numerous different factors.

For example, if attendees are required to walk a significant distance back to their car after the event, they may be at risk of becoming victims of a crime.

Similarly, you should be aware of any public declarations that an individual or group has made. 

Educating yourself on the primary threats to public safety at your event is something that simply cannot be overlooked. Additionally, these threats tend to change over time, which means that procedures from even 5 or 10 years ago may no longer be relevant.

Establish a Sufficient Level of Surveillance

Unfortunately, preventive measures don’t always provide the results that you need. Although it’s essential to do all you can to mitigate the chances of an attack or crime occurring, real-time surveillance should always be incorporated.

Not only should you take advantage of fixed surveillance cameras, but you should also implement mobile video surveillance options.

To clarify, at a time when drones are extremely popular in spite of their many limitations, it’s not uncommon to overlook the utility that rapid-deployment telescopic masts provide. These serve as a lightweight, flexible way to establish a key vantage point at a public event.

Evidentiary-grade footage from these powerful pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras can be fed to just about any computer, tablet, etc. in order to facilitate active monitoring and/or remote command & control.

Keep Track of Your Entry and Exit Points

The most vulnerable locations within a public event are the entry and exit points. Not only are these areas where people are tightly grouped together, but they also come with the risk of allowing criminals to enter an event or to escape.

Your team should have a full awareness of all of the viable entry and exit points at the event, and a sufficient level of security should be placed there.

Combined with mobile video surveillance options, you can significantly increase your overall effectiveness when it comes to preventing crime and apprehending criminals.

For instance, let’s assume that a man in a yellow sweatshirt and jeans allegedly robbed a woman at a public event. By deploying a video management system (VMS) with analytics capabilities, you can quickly search through captured footage utilizing those parameters and greatly increase the likelihood of apprehending the suspect before they leave the event. 

Similar tactics can be used to prevent dangerous people from entering an event. A common scenario involves suspicious-looking individuals acting erratically or abnormally as they wait in line to approach a metal detector or security checkpoint at an entrance.

This type of behavior is often a red flag that should never be ignored. Apprehending and questioning this individual at the entrance could potentially prevent a harmful event from occurring.

Have a Multitiered Response Plan

The response that your team engages in should be proportionate to the level of threat they are dealing with. To elaborate, it makes sense to send a maximum amount of law enforcement officers to deal with someone who has a weapon.

In contrast, you shouldn’t dedicate your entire team to apprehending someone who stole less than $10 worth of goods. A multitiered response plan has different levels of action for different types of scenarios.

It is highly recommended that you consider the most likely scenarios and then divide them into different levels of response. This will allow you to swiftly handle a contingency that arises without straining the overall integrity of your security force.

Implement Proper Training Beforehand

Similar to how you need to have a strong understanding of the potential threats at your special event, your team also needs to have a sufficient level of training. More specifically, this means that each member of your team should have full awareness of where they are supposed to be positioned as well as the locations of their team members.

Depending on the size and complexity of the event, you may need to begin training weeks ahead of time. This is particularly true for gatherings that have tens of thousands of people.

Organizing Special Event Security Might Seem Difficult

It’s not as complicated as you might anticipate. The above guide will help ensure that you implement special event security appropriately and maintain a sufficient level of safety.

Want to learn more about rapid-deployment surveillance solutions and telescopic masts? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help with your next special event.

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