How Manned Guarding Services Help Keep Spectators Safe

No matter what kind of event we’re securing, we’re all responsible for ensuring the happiness, wellbeing and overall safety of all our guests. From raucous football crowds, to the quiet appreciation of a theatrical production, all crowds deserve that same level of reassurance and coverage from their event organisers.

One of the most crucial aspects of that is in any event’s manned guarding solutions. Security professionals are an integral part of ensuring the ongoing safety of all guests, but their importance is often underrecognised and underappreciated.

With our latest article, we’ll take a deep dive into not only how manned security guarding solutions help to keen fans and attendees safe, but also how you can better ensure that your site is well-prepared for a brighter future in events.


5 Key Ways That Security Guards Keep Fans Secure

Let’s look at a just a few of the key ways security guards have an absolutely crucial role in ensuring the ongoing safety of fans, and in creating clearer guidelines surrounding how we keep our events as welcoming and secure as possible.

1. Directing Fans To Their Seats Or Standing Area

It might seem a simple task, but offering guidance to attendees is one of the most important duties that any event security officer will have. No matter the scale, size or expected attendance of an event, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll have at least a few guests who need that extra bit of guidance.

This can range from something as simple as an enquiry for where their seat or designated standing area is, right through to support and assistance in the event of a medical issue or emergency situation.

Not only are you alleviating any potential issues with queueing, congestion or uncertainty before they can ever arise, you’re also able to provide a much more comprehensive experience for those who’ve entrusted you with their time.

Events of this nature generate a larger, more positive buzz around them, and ultimately lead to a bigger attendance, better feedback and a greater likelihood of your event being picked up again. That’s an essential consideration for smaller events, or those that are seeking to be commissioned for a longer contract.


2. Reacting Appropriately To Emergency Situations

It’s naturally the last thing you want to think about when you’re planning for your event and its security is an emergency. However, they can and – as we’ve seen regularly across the headlines in recent years and months – do happen.

An absolutely critical consideration when you’re planning for spectator safety is to ensure that your security presence is familiar with the emergency and evacuation procedures for your specific site or venue.

Of course, while “emergency situations” is a catch-all term, there’s several key skills that you can (and should) expect from your security team. These include:

  • Remaining calm and level-headed in a difficult scenario
  • Understanding and practicing any evacuation or response protocols
  • Familiarising themselves with emergency exits
  • Learning health and safety procedures for that specific venue or site
  • Actively working to clear any obstructions that could hamper any needed evacuations

This is something that a well-established event security company will ensure for you. Evolving guidance from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) ensures that you’ll always receive officers who not only understand the pressing importance of effective emergency planning, but that have actively been trained in how best to enact those plans.


3. Keeping Rival Fans Separated

An essential consideration for sports matches, you’ll no doubt have seen lines of security officers and stewards positioned purposefully to keep fans separated. This is a tactical move from the venue, and one that’s designed to ensure a fair and safe experience for all.

That’s completely understandable when you look at the statistics and headlines that have historically dominated matchdays. Reports like this one from Sky Sports reveal just how prevalent the issue has become, with the latest seasons seeing year-on-year rises in the amount of crime at football matches alone.

These lines of security officers have quickly become a major feature of sporting matchups, especially those with historic or well-known rivalries (such as the Merseyside or Manchester derby matches, or the wide spectrum of London clubs).

Ultimately, these offer a great way to keep rivalries as contained as possible, and to confine any disorder or frustrations to outside of the event itself. Sports are designed to be a great way to bring people together, and effective security at these events ensures that can happen with minimal disruption.


4. Protecting Restricted Areas

In a similar vein to the above point, the right levels of security can also help to keep restricted areas and sections closed off to those who don’t have access. That’s particularly important for festivals, concerts and shows, where performers and artists – as well as their backstage crews – all need space and areas that can’t be disrupted.

Of course, as much as you’d hope that your fans and attendees would be respectful of those who are performing, that’s unfortunately not always the case, and especially so where alcohol is involved. Interruptions can delay show times, put people at risk, and could ultimately lead to your event being cancelled.

Security officers stationed at key points (such as at stage doors, by cordoned-off areas of a venue, or at key entry points) offer exceptional protection, and can allow for a much more segmented and uninterrupted experience for any performers you might have.

They’ll also have the expertise and knowledge to offer guidance to any guests who may have gotten lost, or be making a genuine mistake when looking for something else. It’s this reassurance that ultimately makes for a better experience for attendees, and ensures repeat customers and visitors.


5. De-escalating & Preventing Conflicts

Arguably among the most important roles of any event security officer, preventing conflicts (as well as calming down those situations which have already reached that stage) is an absolutely essential part of keeping spectators safe.

Of course, while it’s everyone event organiser’s dream that conflicts won’t arise, they invariably do. Whether that’s seat disputes, lost property, or alcohol-related mishaps, there’s almost certainly going to be some form of dispute before, during or after your event.

This is where security officers, and particularly those with the SIA-mandated training in conflict management and de-escalation techniques, really come to the fore. They’ll be able to recognise those early warning signs, and potentially nip those conflicts in the bud.

They’ll also be able to respond to any audience issues in a calm and level-headed manner – a difficult to master but essential skill – and remove any troublemakers before they can create a more pressing issue for your attendees.

Plus, as the world of event security continues to change and grow in the coming months and years, that’s only set to become an even more important part of the role of an event security officer.


The Changing Landscape Of Events & Manned Guarding

Security isn’t, and has never been, a static industry. From the unprecedented demands that the pandemic brought with it, through to changing legislation in response to major events, there’s so many adjustments that the security sector has responded to.

That’s no more true than in how we secure events. Consumers are starting to demand more from their events providers, and for good reason – prices are only on the rise, and events are often seen as a luxury, meaning visitors will naturally be looking to receive more for the price they pay.

The security plans we put into place for each individual event should be bespoke, and encompass every aspect that makes your event unique. That ranges from the amount of guests you’re expecting in attendance, through to the type of event you’re running.

And with multiple key changes to security regulations for the hospitality and leisure sector on the horizon, Martyn’s Law chief amongst them, the tides of event security are only set to continue their patterns of change.

Established in the aftermath of the Manchester Bombings on the 22th May, 2017, the law was pioneered by Figen Murray (mother of Martyn Hett, who was one of the 22 people killed in the incident), and has seen substantial traction over the years since its inception.

While still in the finalisation stages, the core concept of Martyn’s Law is relatively straightforward and, some would argue, long overdue – better, more robust event security planning, and much greater preparedness in the event of a serious incident.

Laws like these are only set to reinforce the ways in which customers and visitors interact with events, and the overall level of safety and security they feel when attending any kind of venue. Plus, by opting for a security provider who are consistently looking to the future, you’re already one step ahead with your event and its security.


Ultimate Spectator Safety With Churchill Support Services

Here at Churchill Support Services, we’ve long been at the forefront of the security sector. You’ll find concrete evidence of that in our position as the UK’s leading ACS-approved security company, as well as our long-standing reputation as a stellar provider of event security.

We know exactly what it takes to provide the levels of coverage, safety and security an event needs, and we’re consistently striving for that next echelon of quality in all that we provide. We’ve already started to put plans in place to react and pave the way in the wake of Martyn’s Law.

Not only will you see that reflected in the commitments of all our security officers and Operational team, it’s something we’ve long had built into the tailormade plans we deliver upon for each and every event we secure.

With the ever-changing stipulations that surround securing your event and keeping spectators safe, Churchill can offer the levels of reassurance you, your guests and your staff all deserve. Plus, with our competitive pricing structure, you’ll only ever pay for what you need, while never compromising on quality.

Get in touch with our in-house experts today to discuss how we can secure your event to the highest possible standards, and to receive a free, no obligation quotation.

John Melling

Group Chief Executive Officer

John has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.