Crowd management and event security specialist Showsec has been commended for the company’s part in making last weekend’s V Festival 20th Anniversary celebrations in Staffordshire a memorable, safe and secure occasion. The Leicester-based Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor mounted an extensive operation with the emphasis very much on delivering a safe and enjoyable environment at Weston Park.
A crucial element of the operation was Showsec’s close liaison with Staffordshire Police which maximised the impact of crime reduction measures. At the same time, the company’s specialist services were enhanced by the roll-out of a new training programme. This had the desired effect as bands and solo artists including Kasabian, Calvin Harris, Sam Smith and The Script played to a capacity audience.
In declaring this year’s event a resounding success, festival organiser Andy Redhead focused on the significance of all the agencies and services working together seamlessly to create an experience which certainly lived up to expectations. “It has been a hugely successful event for us at Weston Park,” commented Redhead. “That’s all thanks to a huge effort from all the agencies and services involved in supporting us in both the organisation and running of the weekend.”
Superintendent Elliott Sharrad-Williams, Staffordshire Police’s lead event commander, highlighted the effect of the force’s liaison with Showsec in echoing those views and pointing to another satisfying outcome in terms of crime statistics. “Crime has again remained low with only 70 episodes reported,” he said. “There has been an increase in the number of arrests, with 30 people detained compared to 19 in 2014, but that’s largely due to the proactive work of the security teams and both the uniformed and plain-clothed police officers working with them.”
The Superintendent added: “This has been a real team effort. Event management, security teams and dozens of other partners have worked together to make the weekend such a safe and successful event. We’re very pleased with this year’s policing operation.”
Application of the Crime Reduction Strategy
Showsec identified that its much-acclaimed Crime Reduction Strategy could have an even greater impact at V Festival if the range of skills and knowledge exhibited by the stewarding workforce for specific operations at Weston Park could be enhanced.
In an ongoing commitment to raising standards of service, the company introduced modules to provide standardised training in three specific areas of crime reduction: Enhanced Search, Incident Response and Ejection Centre.
“Crime reduction now forms part of the core duties at festivals and is instrumental in keeping the audience, client and staff members safe,” commented Mark Logan, director at Showsec who served as head of security at Weston Park. “By undertaking these focused training modules, each and every staff member is not only helping Showsec to provide a higher level of service, but they’re also enhancing their own ability to reduce crime and make themselves a more versatile asset to the company and its end customers.”
Logan continued: “We had 1,400 staff working on site across the weekend and almost 25% of them had completed all three aspects of this specialised training before the event, placing us in a much stronger position to take our Crime Reduction Strategy to a new level in terms of the impact which it can have on such occasions.”
Logan was able to draw on the support of a strong management team across all areas of the operation at Weston Park, in turn ensuring that leadership on the ground provided a high level of direction which was reflected in the company’s overall performance at the venue.
Ieuan Fury, Showsec’s area manager for the West Midlands, was project manager at V Festival. He stated: “This was the third year that we’ve provided our crowd management and security services for V Festival. Undoubtedly, it was our most effective and most successful year yet. A significant reason for this was that we used the experiences of previous V Festivals as a learning tool in ensuring that the service level improves its quality year-on-year.”
Fury concluded: “The trends of past events have an influence upon our crime reduction measures and we hand-pick supervisors to ensure they have the knowledge, experience and qualifications to actively support our Crime Reduction Strategy. These supervisors are able to feed their knowledge to stewards and SIA-licensed staff within their teams.”