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Searching and screening

Searching and screening are an important consideration to mitigate security risks.

Recent years have seen security threats evolve, resulting in the need for enhanced security searching at many venues. 

Not only does this mitigate the risk, it also offers reassurance to those attending.

A poorly managed search operation can have a direct impact on crowding outside the ground during ingress. If flow rates and customer engagement are not effectively managed within the Zone Ex space, the security risks can grow significantly.

In other words, ironically, it is easy to create an ‘unregulated crowded space’ (a recognised security risk) outside a venue due to the queues and delays caused by the very security operation that has been implemented to protect visitors.

This is perhaps just one example of where effective management of Zone Ex can smooth crowd arrival profiles, provide better information flows to both the visitors and organisers, and ultimately lead to a safer and more positive experience for all involved.

One response to a security threat might be the need to search and/or screen spectators before they enter the sports ground.

In order to ensure the rates of entry to the ground are not reduced by the searching or screening process, it is vital for management to plan accordingly.

In addition to searching and screening individuals, ground management should also consider how searching of any vehicles entering the sports ground take place.

Searching and screening approaches are a key part of the Security Plan.

Searching and screening techniques

There are different searching and screening techniques available for sports grounds to use, depending on the risk assessment for a particular event. These include:

  • Manual ‘pat down’
  • Metal detectors and bag checking
  • X ray

Each of these will have an impact in ingress flow rates, and must be considered when finalising the safe capacity of a ground.

In practice the screening rates will vary according to local factors, such as the number of search lanes provided, the skills and experience of those carrying out the checks and the ratio of males to females carrying out the checks compared with the ratio of makes to females in the queue.

The Green Guide provides more information on the impact of searching on ingress flow rates.

Further information on searching is available at Protect UK.

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