I know as an event manager, crowd and visitor safety is at the forefront of my mind when I plan an event. Now, with this new introduced Australian Strategy on Terrorism by Australian National Security, events are required to be even more mindful of their crowds of visitors.
Wondering how this will directly affect your event? We’ve broken down the strategy into easy-to-understand points below.
The strategy aims to make crowded places as resilient as possible to terrorist attacks while preserving our use and enjoyment of these places.
It has four core points:
1. Building Stronger Partnerships between government, the private sector and your community – several high-level committees and advisory groups have been established to help with the process and exchange of information. A website now exists with the latest up-to-date information for the public www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/crowdedplaces.
2. Enabling Better Information Sharing and Guidance to assist with building stronger partnerships. Government will be the key responsibility behind sharing this information across the committees, advisory groups and National Security website.
3. Implementing Effective Protective Security which includes the requirement of an in-depth risk management plan involving local police and a Private Security Company. The following should be taken into consideration:
- Cost and Proportionality
4. Increasing Resilience to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack and the consequences of an attack.
Image from the strategy
WILL MY EVENT BE AFFECTED?
Yes – all events that may have a crowd of people are considered to be susceptible to a terrorist attack and are required to follow the steps outlined in the strategy.
Anyone who is the owner or operator of a crowded place is responsible for protecting the visitor crowd and their site.
You will need to understand the current terrorist threats and how this will affect your event. Check in with Australian National Security for up to date information and update your risk assessment accordingly.
You will need to understand the main factors that influence terrorist target selection. Use the Crowded Places Self-Assessment Tool to assist.
You will need to undertake a risk assessment and vulnerability analysis of your crowded place. You may need to work with specialists including external private sector security companies or get help with an event management specialist.
Your plan should ‘prioritise saving lives and minimizing harm while aiming to protect physical assets, information, reputation and other elements that could affect business continuity’.
Once the plan is completed, you will need to implement your risk management plan at your event and ensure its effectiveness (as personal liabilities/penalties may apply if breached). Any and all incidents need to be recorded in the event’s incident register.
After your event, you will need to report on any and all security incidents or suspicious activity to local police as soon as possible.
WHO SHOULD I INVOLVED IN MY PLAN?
- Your Local Government
- Your Local Police
- Private Security Company
WHAT SHOULD I DO RIGHT NOW?
If you are planning an event right now, talk with your Local Government about any changes to their requirements for your event; start reassessing, discussing and writing your Risk Management Plan; AND become a member of the Crowded Places Partnership and Crowded Places Forum to keep you up-to-date with all the latest information.
For more information, head to www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/crowdedplaces