Searching and screening

Recent years have seen security threats evolve, resulting in the need for enhanced security searching at many venues.  Not only does this mitigate the threat, it also offers reassurance to those attending.

However, a poorly managed search operation can have a direct impact on crowding outside the ground. 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.

Searching and screening techniques include:

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

Each of these will have an impact in screening and entrance rates. 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 searching requirements.