In light of the recent terrorist attacks in the UK, especially in Manchester, the question of whether or not you should be planning live events with security measures that include armed guards becomes more prevalent.
The Manchester terror attacks were carried out in such a way that having armed guards would have done very little to protect the innocent victims that were killed during the attack. But the question was asked, what if the security guards at the Ariana Grande had stopped the terrorist before he detonated his suicide vest?
The guards were not armed and the likelihood is the security guards would have replaced the children of the concert as the victims of the attack but unless they were armed there would have been very little they could have done to stop the terrorist completely. Luck would have been needed to be on their side to have stopped the terrorist before he was able to commit his atrocity.
However, the most common strategy employed by Islamic fundamentalists in recent attacks has been the Marauding attacks. In Morocco, the Paris attacks, the recent London attacks. Especially the Paris attacks because a small concert in the center of Paris was also attacked. It’s clear to see that having armed security would have made a real difference and would have stopped a lot of innocent people from dying.
The Moroccan terrorist attack on the guests of a western holiday hotel is another example of where having armed security would have made a real difference. As the terrorists walked down the private beach and into the hotel it was the locals who risked their own life, being unarmed, that tried to protect the hotel’s residents. The security hid as they were not armed, being armed would have saved lives.
But it’s not just protection against terror attacks that make having armed guards a necessity. They act as a preventative tool against other more common issues getting out of control. At the same time, in today’s climate, they allow the people at the event to feel a sense of protection because increasingly public gatherings have become stressful.
However, it needs to be the right armed security guard. Having a loaded weapon in the vicinity of the general public increases the risk and danger to the people attending the live event. You want to ensure the security guards are ex-military or law enforcement, guards who have had more than just 8 or 16 hours training but rather security that has been extensively trained in assessing risks from terrorism and understand how to stay calm in the stressful situation.
You need professionals who add security and stability to a potentially catastrophic situation not make the situation worse due to their inexperience and lack of real training. Likewise, you don’t need your security team to escalate potentially harmless situations into something more deadly.
To summarize, it’s the current climate that dictates how we secure our live events, places where the general public gather in large numbers. And unfortunately, with the spate of terrorist attacks targeting public, events like concerts and sporting events are now prime targets and need to be protected.
However, it’s as important to have the right armed security personnel. Having novice “rent a cop” security with less than 20 hours training is likely to do more harm than good. You want ex-military or law enforcement to ensure your event is as secure as it can be.
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