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Safety, security and service

The delivery of a safe event is achieved by an integrated and balanced approach to safety, security and service.

It is widely acknowledged that the delivery of a safe event is achieved by adopting an integrated and balanced approach towards the core elements of safety, security and service.

This is advocated by the Council of Europe as part of the St Denis Convention.


To be considered ‘safe’ the venue management and/or event organisers should seek to ensure that the venue:

  • is free of hazards, as far as is reasonable or practicable, and
  • is well managed: that is, the responsibility for safety should be allocated to a named individual (Safety Officer) and that the personnel operating and staffing the venue should be appropriately trained, briefed and resourced, and be able to carry out their allocated safety roles both in normal conditions and in the event of an incident.

Understanding the distinction between the physical condition of a venue and its safety management forms a crucial part of event safety management. So too is an appreciation of how the two are interdependent.


To be considered ‘safe’ a venue should also be secure. Conversely, a venue that is not secure cannot be considered to be safe.

Security at venues depends on the following five key elements being in place:

  1. A named individual with responsibility for security. On event days they might report directly to the Safety Officer and/or the event organiser. In some locations, it may fall within the remit of the Safety Officer.
  2. Measures to prevent, detect and respond to, as far as is reasonably practicable, incidents of violence or criminal activity (including
    terrorism) from taking place. This should be based on information and intelligence.
  3. The venue’s security personnel should, as part of the overall safety culture within the organisation, engage with all aspects of event planning to ensure that staff in other functional areas share situational awareness.
  4. Access controls and management plans should be in place to deny entry to non-accredited individuals and vehicles to the venue.
  5. Plans should be in place to manage access and any vulnerable points which are intersected by areas or routes shared with the public.

Finding and maintaining a balance between measures required for safety and those required for security is one of the major challenges of event safety management.


Service encompasses those management plans and procedures that are aimed towards the wellbeing of all people at an event, whether attending as individuals or in groups (including family groups) and including all those with ‘protected characteristics’ as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Wellbeing is relevant to safety management because experience shows that the behaviour of people at an event can be significantly influenced by conditions at the venue, and by the attitudes and actions of the event staff.

Everyone should be able to enjoy the event without the fear of discrimination or abuse from any party, be it from fellow spectators or event staff.

People present at an event should not only be safe, but they should feel safe as well.

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