6.18 Security guards

A security guard service licensed for crowd control and with events experience can provide invaluable expertise to help manage potential risks at your event, and may be legally required. It is mandatory that any person undertaking a “security activity” is appropriately licensed to carry out that activity. These activities include:

  • acting as a crowd controller, venue controller or bouncer, (see 6.8 and 6.9)
  • guarding cash or valuables (including cash in transit), (see 6.19)
  • protection of assets, guarding infrastructure and servicing security equipment.

Your risk management planning may identify other high security risks that are likely to occur at the event. For most large, liquor-licensed events, the licensing arrangements will require that a minimum number of security officers be employed, who have been trained in the responsible service of alcohol.

If you do contract a security company, it is advisable to liaise with them during the event planning stage. One way to do this is to develop a security plan with your provider.

A security plan should reflect the following:

  • type of security being used for the event, e.g. private security personnel
  • details of the private security firm including company name, master licence details, contact person and phone numbers, the number of personnel at the event
  • relevant contacts in the Police Local Area Command
  • the role of any user pays Police compared to that of private security
  • security, transport and storage procedures for cash, valuable items, prohibited items, dangerous goods, hazardous substances and equipment
  • sufficient and appropriate barriers, fences, gates, turnstiles
  • ticketing arrangements and procedures for checking tickets
  • examples of the identification being used by staff, and a register of those with Access All Areas passes
  • location of control points for searching for prohibited items ensuring that they do not impede entry to the event
  • secure area for storage of confiscated goods
  • arrangements for lost and stolen property
  • arrangements for lost children
  • separate entrances and exits for staff and entertainers.

A briefing should be given to security personnel before the event. This should cover matters such as venue layout and emergency evacuation plans, people who must be given access to the event (such as council staff, building surveyors and inspectors, environmental health officers, fire safety and prevention officers, and workplace safety officers), as well as each security operative’s role and responsibilities on the day.

Security staff (and event organisers) should also be aware of their responsibilities relative to those of the Police and during an emergency. If Police are present at the event, whether on general duty or on a user pays basis, event organisers are not entitled to direct the activity of Police or to have inappropriate influence on operational commands.

The NSW Police Force is responsible for regulating the security industry. For more information about security licensing go to NSW Police Force website or call them on 1800 622 571.

Next - 6.19 Dealing with money

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