PANEL: ‘The 3 Ps: Preparation, Planning & Prevention’

PANEL: ‘The 3 Ps: Preparation, Planning & Prevention’

The first panel of the day discussed the importance of pre-event planning following what Colonel Richard Latham, The O2’s Head of Security, called a “step change” in the terrorist threat in the UK.

The panel discussed how the threat has changed; discussing the recent varied attack methodologies and stated in the UK the threat is being aimed at “high-profile targets”, such at concerts and other live events.

Roskilde Festival’s Morten Therkildsen said Denmark is still playing catch-up when it comes to event security, however given the threat, he has implemented and overseen a change in the way in which this is managed at his event. “We now get complaints from people if they are not searched,” he said. He also stated we must remain focused on other risks such as fire and crowd safety and remain proportionate to the threats.

Similarly, Mark Breen of Safe Events, made the point that ALL threats need to be properly risk-assessed. The proliferation of certain types of threats around the world will not automatically mean that your event is at a greater risk of that threat. Breen noted that in Ireland, the concept of information-sharing between event organisers and the police service (Gardai) is in its early stages and that there is no set structure or procedure by which organisers can access this type of threat analysis. It is that type of information sharing that will further allow organisers to properly risk-assess their events, thus enabling them to institute appropriate measures, for realistic threats.

The panel agreed that the sharing of information and intelligence from the Police could improve and that there was no clear consistency not only from Police but wider multi agency partners within the UK the panel called for a more consistent approach from Safety Advisory Groups nationally.

On the private security front, TSG’s Duncan Cullen emphasised the need to ensure a consistent message across the venue’s entire security staff, with frontline staff trained to a high standard and confident of their role in the event of an attack, either through regular live testing or, as Latham suggested, tabletop exercises.

Dr Kate Bunyan called for venues to question their current medical provision and ensure that their providers were equipped to respond appropriately to the threats identified through their risk assessments, and to ensure they are prepared to integrate with the wider emergency services’ medical response.

Understanding roles and responsibilities, planning and processes were all key themes of the discussion however all agreed that ‘People’ were key in ensuring that the 3Ps come together. The panel also agreed that communication is essential to ensure clear understanding.

Understanding the threat, sound risk assessments, remaining agile and responding proportionally, will help to advance our pre-event planning and help our venues become more prepared and resilient against today’s ever increasing threats and challenges. Latham coupled this with “live events being as prepared as they can be through regular sharing of best practice between venues, such as through the UK’s Crowded Places Information Exchange”.


A selection of photos from 10 October 2017 are available to view here.