On the 21st April 2022, the Protecting People in Crowded Places – Special Interest Group (PPICP SIG) was launched: the result of a collaboration between the Security Institute and The UK Crowd Management Association (UKCMA).
Hosted by the London Stadium in the Arnold Hills* Room, the launch was a full-day seminar with a range of expert speakers introduced by Security Institute Director Carl Dakin CSyP FSyI.
Co-Chair Panel Discussions
The seminar began with the co-chairs – Gary Simpson MSyI, Simon Roberts MSyI, Anne Marie Chehib, Simon Ancliffe – discussing their aims for the SIG to have influence, provide thought leadership and share good practice for crowd safety and event security. They aim to achieve this through seminars such as this and further collaboration, peer reviews, case studies, webinars and by integrating research and academia from national institutions. Dr Aoife Hunt later also mentioned how they will be integrating research and academia from national institutions. Key topics for the SIG to include:
- The overlap between security and safety and how to better collaborate
- The Protect Duty
- The role of the SIA
- The Grey Space / Zone X / The Last Mile
- Security searches
- The use of technology
Miriam Stone, Head of Operations at the AO Arena in Manchester
Miriam was the Duty Manager on the night of the attack at the Manchester Arena in May 2017. She said: “We owe it to the people who lost their lives and everyone who was impacted to learn from it.” She provided a moving and unique account of her experience of the incident. Miriam’s descriptions of her thought processes, emotions and decisions provided crucial, real-life insight. She explained how she used her previous training, her knowledge of the building and the audience to think through what needed to be done and make difficult and timely decisions. Miriam praised the impeccable response of her team. She acknowledged that some things could have been done better.
Her lessons learned were: security should become part of everyday language for everyone in the events industry; security and response policies should be readable, learnable and regularly practised – not just dumped in a cupboard. A key insight was that people react in different ways – this was a real life experience of the Fight, Flight or Freeze response. None of us really know how we will react until in the same situation
Prof. Dr G. Keith Still, Crowd Risk Analysis Ltd
Dr Still discussed safety and security and how it relates to crowd dynamics and behaviour. He highlighted:
- The importance of learning from incidents and accidents
- How we can develop a degree foreseeability
- The separate concepts that are safety and security; how you need specialists in both, with an integrated approach
- The difficulties of visualising crowd density and the system he has developed to help with this
Prof Chris Kemp, CEO Mind Over Matter
Chris Kemp explored aspects of leadership qualities and how these can influence projects for protecting crowded places. His research has looked closely into “interoperability”, its definition and what it means in this context. He provided the five key steps to growing interoperability: 1 Create a vision for the organisation, 2 Create key joint partnerships to share knowledge, 3 Sustain buy-in by reducing egocentricity, 4 Provide context and environment, 5 Deliver agreed changes to enable vision
Eric Stuart, Chair UKCMA and Chair, Global Crowd Management Alliance
Eric discussed the wider learning from the Manchester attack and Euro 2020 Finals at the Wembley Stadium, highlighting some key learning, balancing this with the need to avoid using hindsight to judge people. He emphasised the importance of preventing a failure in imagination. “Because something has never happened it doesn’t mean it never will.” Explore the What If scenarios before the event. He also emphasised the importance of training including table-top exercises and evacuation practises.
Jason Eglash, London Stadium Safety Officer
An experienced Safety Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the events and sports industry, Jason provided an overview of event safety, security, and service from arrival to departure at the London Stadium. Skilled in Crisis Management, Operations Management, Event Health and Safety, Emergency Management, Facility Management (FM), and Workplace Safety Jason bought a very informative conference by The Security Institute and UKCMA to close by sharing insightful information echoing the challenges of the sector and how collaboration between the event and security sectors is necessary.
* Arnold Hills was one of the founders of West Ham United, a keen sportsman and vegetarian!