Special Event Security
Q. What is special event security?
A. Special events come in all sizes and some need higher levels of security than others. An example of a low profile special event would be one held in a hotel, with little advertising and admission by invitation only. This sort of event would only need a small amount of security. On the other hand, with a high-profile event, the location will make all the difference. There is a world of difference between holding an event in a hotel which as a limited number of access points, to a park where the public can come in and out at will.
The number of guards needed to ensure the safety of all will also depend on the type of event, some being naturally more liable to ‘trouble’ than others.
Q. How many security guards do I need for a festival?
A. Festivals tend to be held in public places which have multiple access points, this and the fact that this type of event can draw in large crowds mean the number of guards will be higher than other types of events. However, having one guard per 100 people is a good rule of thumb. In all cases the purpose of these guards is to provide protection and aid for attendees, patrolling the venue and maintaining order throughout the entirety of the event. Event security guards are also responsible for suppressing any disturbances, holding any suspects until police arrive.
Q. How much does special event security cost?
A. The cost of providing security at an event will vary widely, many factors, such as the number of guards, provision of cctv, security dogs and handlers, mobile patrols and even in extreme cases a command and control van.
It is therefore advisable to discuss any planned event with a reputable security firm which is approved and registered with the SIA. They will be able to provide a full assessment of the security needs together with all the costs.
Q. Should all the security guards be in uniform?
A. In many instances, it is best to use a mixture of uniformed and plain clothed operatives. Uniformed guards are a great deterrent at access points, but if there are too many within the festival, it can worry some guests, as they start to wonder if something is wrong. Plain clothed guards are useful as they can mingle with the crowd and keep an eye on anyone that concerns them, whilst not alarming the guests.
Q. Is it necessary for the guards to control access in every event?
A. In many instances it is better to allow these high profile guards control access to the event, as this will discourage 99% of trouble makers and gate crashers. However, in some social events, like a high class wedding, it is better to have a nice hostess admit guests, but have a guard available for immediate back up if trouble arises.