Event Security 101: Tips & Techniques to Increase Security & Safety
Event security is an increasingly important aspect of events around the world. Whether your event is a small party, hosted by your principal at their residence or perhaps a rented venue, accurate assessments are vital to applying the most logical, appropriate and effective solution in order to reduce risk, increase security, safety and participation of the patrons for an even greater chance of a successful event. This article is meant to share some basic tips on event security planning.
The elevated risk from the increased frequency of violent incidents across the country has heightened concern, and rightfully so. Soft targets are particularly vulnerable as the name suggests, but the lack of applied results from a competent assessment is typically the cause of the ‘gaps’ that are exploited among the ‘soft target’ attacks. Below, these tips are easy enough to apply yet dramatically effective at achieving the goals mentioned above.
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1. Access Control and Screening.
Access points should be minimized to maximize control, and reduce the chances of someone sneaking past those who are positioned to monitor guests upon arrival. Criteria for access to certain areas should be established; general access versus areas for employees, etc. Also consider advanced screening of guests. Ensure consideration of the objective of the event: if it is to be perceived as welcoming, utilizing magnetometers and performing bag checks may be counter-productive, however, that call must be made based on the most suitable reduction of risk given the threats at the time. One very effective way I have seen screening of guests performed on a small scale is to scan ID’s with a smartphone with the app Bar and Club Stats.
2. Crowd Control.
Constant vigilance of the crowd with the intent of attempting to spot an individual exhibiting pre-attack indicators as well as controlling the crowds access to restricted areas, etc.
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3. Maintain Awareness.
Beyond training in situational awareness and behavioral cues, the managers and supervisors must be aware of the status at each post to include the length of time of that post holder.
4. Immediate Actions Drills.
IADs should be rehearsed for each major incident that has a high probability of occurrence. In addition, option sets should be created depending on the asset and method of attack to avoid the effectiveness of probes.
5. Increase Deterrents.
The overall factors of crime are greatly influenced by the perceived risk of getting caught. Increase lighting to standard, increase your security posture to maximum levels for that type of event.
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6. Decrease Attractants.
Crime and incident occurrence is also greatly influence by the attractiveness of the target. Reduce the availability and access to assets, and make yourself/the venue a hard target.
7. Access Point Hardening.
Implement measures to “harden” the target such as lighting, window film, security guards, etc. These should be highly visible and at those locations and at access points which are most susceptible or probable for attack.
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8. Initiating and Enabling Emergency Response.
In addition to facilitating the emergency response system’s response, emergency action plans should be created, depending on the assessment’s findings, which will detail responsibilities, communication and action steps during an emergency.
Joseph M. LaSorsa, CPP® is currently employed as a senior partner managing and conducting: Protective Operations Training Courses, Executive Protection & Bodyguard Services, Risk Management Consultations & Seminars, Workplace Violence Prevention Seminars & Intervention Services, Security Consultations & Seminars, Private Investigations and Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures with LaSorsa & Associates – an International Protection, Investigations & Consulting Firm.