Just how important are security staff at an event?

Security at events has always been high on the agenda. Some scoff that the occurrence of a dangerous incident at a venue or product launch is highly unlikely. But it only takes one terrible tragedy for everyone to look at security again with renewed vigour.

While events like this are extremely rare and hard to predict, it’s important for the meetings and events industry to prepare in advance for such potential threats.

Stage Security, who has been providing clients with security services for almost 20 years, advises that planning ahead is vital to identify any weaknesses and gaps that require attention when it comes to implementing solutions.

Increased pressure is on private security firms as government spending on police is down around 20 per cent since 2010, resulting in 20,000 fewer police officers on our streets.

Policing has been left at a tipping point and is on the verge of failing the public and struggling to detect crime, warns a senior police chief.

Dave Thompson, the chief constable of the West Midlands force, writing on the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) blog said: “Core aspects of policing – such as answering calls, attending emergencies, investigating crime, bringing offenders to justice and neighbourhood policing – are being pushed beyond sustainability.”

These police cuts have made venues increasingly reliant on private security companies, having to take on these not insignificant costs and to ward off what are essentially once-in-a=blue moon incidents.

Security costs are always a significant part of budgets, so it can be tempting for venues and events to use security companies that are the cheapest. According to Magenta Security, contract prices have been cut to the point that security providers have dropped their costs by up to 25 per cent. The security industry currently works on -2 per cent to 5 per cent profit margins, which Magenta says isn’t sustainable.

It’s a fraught problem for the meetings and events agency to maintain high levels of security to reassure clients that safety is a number one priority.