Security and crowd control planning at events

With such a strong emphasis on risk management and public safety at events, appropriate security is paramount.

Different types (and scale) of events require different levels of security and this should be determined as part of your event's Risk Assessment and detailed in your Emergency Management Plan.

You may need to engage a security company to manage the crowd.

The number of security staff you need will depend on the number of patrons. The general rule is two security guards for the first 100 patrons and then one guard for every 100 patrons, however there may also be ratios that are specified via Liquor Licensing Victoria.

Your risk assessment will also inform you as to what the risk levels are at certain times and in certain areas and what ‘type’ of guard you may need to reduce the risk, i.e. Licensed crowd controller with an Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications.

Consult with the security company you contract to define the role of security staff, how many are needed for how many hours and their general positions within the site.

The number of security staff, their role and position on site might be determined for you by the Police and/or the Building Surveyor, depending on the nature of your event.

Once you have worked out whether Police, private uniformed security, or peer security is required for your event, it is time to develop a security procedure (which is detailed in your Emergency Management Plan).

The attitude of security personnel should be friendly and professional at all times, with the main responsibilities being crowd control, cash and equipment protection.Other roles and responsibilities of security personnel include:

  • assisting emergency services if necessary
  • controlling access to stage or performance area
  • controlling entrances and exits
  • controlling vehicle traffic and marshalling
  • searching for alcohol, drugs and weapons
  • assistancing in evacuation procedure.

The importance of a pre-event security briefing

To enable security personnel to do their job effectively, it is vital that they are appropriately briefed prior to your event.

Security need:

  • details of the site/venue layout, including entrances, exits, first aid posts and any potential hazards
  • clear direction on the management of unacceptable behaviour
  • details of emergency evacuation plans, such as raising alarms, protocols for requesting assistance and evacuation procedures
  • names of key event personnel, emergency service representatives, City of Greater Geelong staff, Worksafe officers, etc who may require (and should be given) access to the site.
  • to ensure that the a person from the event checks each guards license and qualifications before they commence duty.
Above all else, security personnel must be able to communicate with first aiders/emergency services and with each other.

Each company that provides a security or crowd control at the event must be licensed under the Private Agents Act 1966. The company you have contracted should attend briefing meetings with Police and other emergency services during the event planning stage.

Page last updated: Friday, 29 April 2022