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5 Ways to Ensure Spectator Safety

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

When it comes to hosting events, whether they’re of a sporting, music or arts nature, all large-scale celebratory events require security. It’s not there to be scary or to intimidate you, but rather to ensure the safety, welfare and enjoyment of all spectators attending.

In the UK, we take health and safety seriously. Stewards, CCTV operators, managers and all those working within the security sector can take a range of courses from manned guarding to security management or CCTV management to increase their skills and knowledge on how to safely guard, be on call and provide peace of mind to all spectators. 

So how can we ensure that the safety of spectators is achieved smoothly and successfully? 

Well, luckily we’ve put together a list of the top five ways to ensure spectator safety:  

     1. Control the Flow of People

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Glastonbury, Wimbledon or the World Cup, during a spectator event there will be a regular flow of people entering, moving around the venue and exiting it once it has finished. 

While there may also be some spectators moving around during the performance or celebration, these are the peak periods and so it is crucial that all security staff communicate throughout the event with one another and are positioned at key points around the venue. 

Spectators should gradually be allowed in through various entry points, if possible, and dispersed in a similar fashion to avoid delays or injury. It is the role of security to ensure this happens seamlessly. 

     2. Monitor Spectators

While most people come to an event to enjoy themselves and have fun, it is important that spectators see event security as a calm and professional, yet authoritative team to garner the respect and understanding of spectators. 

Stewards will be required to adapt their tone and style depending on the varying needs of the spectator they are dealing with and the individual situation. Security staff must be willing to refuse entry if necessary. 

This shows spectators that if any unruly or unacceptable attitudes, conduct or behaviour are witnessed within the venue towards the security team or to other members of staff, that it will not be tolerated and they may be asked to leave.

      3. Handle Crowd Problems

A variety of factors can influence individual spectators and crowds. Prior expectations relating to certain events can have a significant impact upon how security teams prepare for an event and adapt their style on the day of the event. 

Two rival football teams playing against each other, for example, may considerably affect the number of security staff present and their tolerance levels before refusing entry or asking spectators to leave.  

Gaining knowledge of these attitudes and expectations before the event will enable security to prepare for the likelihood of any unreasonable behavior and put practices and procedures in place to avoid or minimise this.  

      4. Manage Conflict

If a conflict does occur, then it is important that security teams adopt an authoritative, professional and consistent approach. 

To diffuse the situation, speed is of the essence. Parties should be removed from one another, by creating a barrier between them or physically separating to reduce any further conflict. 

The presence of security is also likely to put other uninvolved spectator’s minds at ease. To ensure this, it is vital, throughout the event, to build productive working relationships with colleagues to ensure that open and transparent lines of communication are present before, during and after any conflicts. 

      5. Deal with Accidents and Emergencies

Responding in a timely, calm and helpful manner is the best approach to adopt when it comes to the health and safety of spectators, and in particular when dealing with cases of accidents and emergencies. 

To avoid panic and alarm, remain with an injured party and call the emergency services. Follow the security management’s policies and procedures throughout the incident. Depending on the nature of the incident, try to remove the injured party away from the main larger crowds of people, as this enables you to communicate with the individual. 

On the whole spectator events go without a hitch and spectators are simply there to enjoy themselves. And we want to help keep it that way and offer peace of mind by making spectator safety the number one priority.  

For more information on spectator safety, or if you’re a steward looking to develop skills through e-learning, take a look at our range of security solutions today.