Amplified Security: A priority at large scale venues

July 7, 2017

In light of recent unimaginable events over the past month, such as the Manchester Arena bombing and the London Bridge attack, security measures at public places, including sporting stadiums, are undergoing critical review.

Given the current threat of terrorism,  standard and traditional security measures are no longer enough.  At CAP Security Services we are always reviewing our procedures and investigating what the new phase of security will look like to ensure patrons in public arenas are protected, and feel safe – in particular, patrons that we serve across our partner venues including Suncorp Stadium, The Gabba and 1300SMILES Stadium.

As part of our blog series, this month we highlight the measures that Australian and International event venues are taking to ensure safety and security of patrons.  For each upcoming event at the venues we manage, we consult with both stadium management and relevant event promoters to  establish the necessary measures.

What increased security looks like:

As a result of recent attacks on innocent civilians in public places, there are a number of heightened security measures that have been suggested at large-scale public events.

Strict Bag Ban

Strict security measures on bags and personal items may soon be modified as seen in other states.  Event organisers around Australia have recently implemented restrictions on backpacks at large scale events, which has led to a ban on backpacks altogether. A decrease in the size and type of bags allowed into events has also been recommended. As seen at the recent Liverpool FC vs Sydney FC Game at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, only bags that were within the dimensions of 30cm by 40cm were allowed in the venue.

Closer to home, at State of Origin Game 1, security measures were changed, whereby instead of conducting random bag checks, each and every bag was searched. In preparation for Ed Sheeran’s national tour in 2018, Frontier Touring has announced that “back packs and large bags will strictly not be allowed.” Operators of Victorian stadiums are considering implementing a rule to only allow clear plastic bags and clutch handbags into large scale events.

As time goes on we can expect that these precautions will be implemented across all large-scale public events not just nationally, but globally.

Bag Checks image

Metal detectors & Personal Checks

As part of the increased security procedures,  personal checks on every person attending events may be carried out with metal detectors to ensure safety of patrons. Previously, metal detectors were only used for random searches. It is hoped that the increased use of metal detectors will prevent the risk of dangerous weapons entering the venue.

A case example is a recent concert at London’s O2 Arena where patrons were asked to pass through metal detector screening arches, and undergo bag searches.  Glastonbury, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, has also announced new security measures for this year’s event. The organisers advised that “all ticket holders will be subject to extra searches of their vehicles, their bags and their person.” Organisers have also confirmed they have “put in place all necessary measure to maximise public safety, working closely with the authorities.”

For obvious reasons, the UK is on high alert ahead of all large scale events. However, these security measures will undoubtedly extend to Australia and around the world.  Here at CAP Security Services, our personnel are well trained to ensure thorough personal checks are conducted in the correct manner, while also minimising the possibility of resulting conflict and potential violence from unwanted security checks..

security metal detectors

Heightened Police Presence  

Along with rigorous patron and bag checks, police presence will be increased at large scale events. Events in the UK such as the One Love Manchester benefit concert had armed police surround the stadium in a “ring of steel” to keep patrons safe. At Australian events, such as a recent football game at Sydney’s ANZ stadium, police presence was intensified. This was also the case in SA, where Adelaide Oval  announced there would be an increased police presence for major AFL  games. It is expected that other national event venues will follow suit. CAP Security Services work collaboratively with Queensland Police to ensure the free flow of patron traffic, and to ensure the utmost safety at these events.

Armed police in St Ann's Square, Manchester, before a minute's silence to remember the victims of the terror attack in the city earlier this week. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 25, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Permanent Barriers

Another source of protection that has gained momentum is the use of concrete barriers placed around large-scale venues.  The barriers are a way of guiding traffic around the perimeter of the venue, preventing the access of cars close to patrons as they enter the stadium.

Such measures have recently been taken at Canberra stadium, where organisers installed concrete barriers to ensure that the traffic flow around the stadium precinct was safe and efficient, for both motorists and pedestrians. After already installing water-filled temporary barricades at the start of this year’s AFL season, the MCG is also reviewing the need to build permanent concrete barriers around the grounds to protect patrons against any threat of violence.

Precautions such as concrete barriers will aid security teams in monitoring access for patrons to and from these venues.  Permanent concrete barriers are tentative measures because they are so restrictive, however, this option is a topic of discussion nationally as authorities continue to review best safety precautions at arenas and stadiums.

concrete barriers canberra


Securing crowds at large-scale events from violence is vital. We need to work harder than ever to reassure patrons and ensure that they feel safe and free to attend the events they love. The review of security systems and measures will continue, as more preventative actions are taken.  Just as venue operators in Australia and around the world are prioritising the safety of patrons, CAP Security Service will follow in the pursuit of safety at future local events.

We hope that this new phase of patron protection and security at public arenas we serve will create a safe place for patrons to enjoy the entertainment they love, whether it’s football, cricket or live music.