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Security Specialists Prepare for Mass Gatherings

Security Specialists Prepare for Mass Gatherings
02 June 2021

The UK government has indicated that they expect a further easing of lockdown to go ahead on 21 June 2021, so how is the security industry getting prepared?

In step four of lockdown easing, which will take place no earlier than 21 June, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact. This means restrictions on large events and performances will be lifted.

The events sector in the UK is worth £42.3 billion and most events will require some professional security services, therefore the security industry will play a key part in this next stage of COVID-19 lockdown easing.




Events Research Programme


The lockdown easing will be subject to the results of the scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of pilot events. These pilots explore different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and COVID test-on-entry protocols. Researchers will also be at the venues to monitor crowd movements and study attendee behaviour in these environments.

It is hoped data gathered from these events will help to shape how venues operate safely post-June 21st.


Managing Test Results


Until official guidance is published, we can only speculate how mass gatherings will be managed, but the Events Research Programme gives a few indicators.

For those pilot events, entry was subject to a negative test result. In practice this may work in much the same way that international travel has taken place in recent months – entry will be denied to those that cannot provide evidence of a negative test result.


Policing Mask Wearing


It's predicted that facial coverings will become a mainstay this year, and perhaps beyond that. Depending on audience capacities, outdoor and indoor venues and different layouts, security personnel may have to monitor and police mask usage.

Technology solutions can play a part here, with companies offering to fully automate the process of confirming mask compliance.  The Nokia Automated Analytic Solution uses a thermal camera to capture video footage and takes individual temperature readings for every person that enters the screening site. The analytics engine quickly processes the video clip to determine whether the individuals require additional COVID-19 screening, or are not complying with mask-wearing rules.

If an irregularity is detected, a centralised view is presented and a real-time SMS or email alert is automatically sent to initiate track-and-trace or post-detection actions.  The entire process takes place in near-real time and the human-less operation enables scaling to very large environments with thousands of people and multiple access points.

Aiming to reduce the cost of detection and ensure business continuity and supply chain resilience during the pandemic, such a solution has been used in Nokia’s factory in Chennai, India. 


Adequate Training and SIA Licences


Above all, security teams will need to be fully briefed on entrance and exit routes and any layout adjustments. According to Expeditious Services, who are the official security sponsor, for The Facilities Industry Charity Boxing Night Black Tie Dinner, recommends ensuring security staff are up-to-date on current government and organisational protocols precautionary measures.

Security guards working at an event (for example, a concert or a festival) may also need an SIA licence. You need a door supervisor licence if all of the following statements are true:

  • You provide a physical presence to guard against damage, theft, unauthorised access or disorderly behaviour
  • Your work is in relation to licensed premises
  • You work when the premises are open to the public, at times when alcohol is being supplied for consumption, or regulated entertainment is being provided on the premises


Picture: a photograph showing a crowd at a concert, with people wearing event wristbands.

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 02 June 2021


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