Summer in the UK is renowned for being the season of music festivals such as Glastonbury, Download or Creamfields. Attracting around 14 million visitors to the UK and hosting the biggest-selling global music acts across most genres, there will be something to please everyone. And whilst it should be an amazing experience for festival-goers, there will always be a huge team of security specialists behind the scenes, rigorously planning and then overseeing the event to ensure the safety of all involved.
Unfortunately, where there are large groups of people coming together, it naturally provides an attractive target for terrorists and, whilst you should not be fearful of attending, you should definitely remain aware.
Last year’s terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was one horrific example of how much devastation can be caused amongst large crowds of people, many of them, in that instance, only young girls. Whilst the police are aware of the potential risks and work hard to prevent any attacks occurring, there are still some things that you can do to help keep yourself and others safe.
The National Police Chief’s Council published some advice earlier this year, to help raise awareness of the risks to festival-goers and advise them how they can help cooperate with security operations. This is the advice they gave:
* Arrive early to allow for any extra security measures to prevent delays in getting into the event.
* Be patient with security checks and help the staff to help you. We know it is inconvenient but they are there to keep you safe.
* Don’t bring unnecessary items to the event; this will help to speed up searches and your entry to the event.
* If you spot someone acting suspiciously, report it to police or to the security staff immediately.
* In an emergency and if you think there is an immediate risk, always call 999 and look around you for help from security staff.
* Don’t leave bags unattended as this could cause a security scare and never agree to look after anyone else’s bags.
* If there is an incident, listen to staff and any announcements. Organisers will have emergency plans to help you keep safe.
* Remember, the chance of being caught in a terrorism incident is small. But if it happens, remember to: Run, Hide, Tell.
What else can you do?
Organisers of large-scale music events should be working alongside the police and trusted security professionals, who have the expertise to secure the event space and area perimeter. A company such as 1st Class Protection, for example, have specialist training in anticipating, diverting and, if necessary, dealing with all security threats effectively and with minimal disruption.
Whilst a terror attack is always a real possibility, the actual likelihood of being caught up in one is small. There are, however, other security and safety issues that are very much more possible. Therefore, we have put together some advice, which you can follow to help you enjoy your time, worry-free.
* Be sure to locate the nearest First Aid tent or area.
* Locate the nearest exits
* Do not accept drinks from anyone you do not know
* Never leave valuables unattended in your tent or car
* Only take items that are necessary
* Only take as much cash as you need, separate your cash from bank cards and conceal them in different places
* Ensure pockets or handbags have zipped openings to prevent belongings being snatched. It is also useful to have internal zipped compartments.
* Don’t keep your phone or cash in your back or jacket pocket
* Use the free lock-up areas provided by the festival organisers
* Report anything lost or stolen to the police immediately and get a crime number that you can report to your insurance company
Have Fun, Be Safe
We hope that whichever festival you are attending this summer, you will have an amazing and safe experience. If you are at all concerned about the security at an event you are visiting, you should check with the organisers about the measures they have put in place.