Costly security

Event security - Costly security

Event security has never been so topical to public discourse as it is today. The 2010 Love Parade disaster in Germany tragically demonstrated the consequences of ignoring this topic. Event security has also taken on a new dimension in the wake of terrorist attacks and threats. The search for secure event concepts continues – and the solutions come at a price.

On 24 July 2010, a deadly disaster occurred at the entrance point of the Love Parade held in Duisburg, Germany. As hundreds of attendees pushed through a narrow space, the lack of sufficient room proved fatal: 21 people lost their lives, and over 600 were injured, some severely. Investigations revealed that planning errors and improper crowd management caused the disaster. The question as to who was ultimately responsible is still being battled out in courts; the event organizers and authorities all blame one another. The tragedy in Duisburg has had a decisive impact on events held in public spaces. Since that time, documented security concepts have been required for all such events in Germany, from small carnival parades to music festivals. Authorities are obligated to review these concepts. Many event organizers have been up in arms about this requirement because as they see it, they’re forced to deal with expensive, senseless conditions. This complaint is partially justified, as certain authorities have set a great deal of new requirements – some of which are questionable – so as not to be held liable in the event of an incident. Sometimes, though, the submitted security concepts are marked by blatant errors that urgently require correction. “Security costs money. If event planners can’t afford the most fundamental security measures, then the event can’t take place. At the same time, the security requirements must be sensible ones – a great deal of the conditions in the past were stipulated based on uncertainty and fear,” says Sabine Funk, Managing Director of the International Training Centre for Crowd & Safety Management (IBIT GmbH). “Today, all parties involved are convinced of the necessity of security concepts and have agreed on all the fundamental requirements. This agreement has made our events even safer.” Security is now once again being put to extreme tests by terrorist attacks. Many ideas have been put forth over the course of the search for the most secure concepts and solutions – they still have to prove their suitability, though.

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