Are you hosting or running an event? Do you manage facilities where crowds gather?
If so, then it is important to know the vulnerability of these locations to a terrorist attack and how to address these risks in an appropriate and proportionate manner. SAPOL has a simple self-assessment tool that event organisers and operators of places of mass gatherings can complete to help identify the attractiveness of your venues to terrorist attack.
Recent world events demonstrate that terrorism is a credible and serious threat for Australia and that there is interest and intent from terrorists to target mass gatherings and events.
Mass gatherings and events are an attractive target for terrorists because they generally encourage easy public access with minimum security controls. In addition, they may:
■ generate high-impact imagery and media interest;
■ have high symbolic value or be representative of western culture; and
■ cause mass casualties, economic impact and public anxiety.
Mass gatherings and events are characterised by the concentration of people on a predictable basis, in venues or precincts that are open or enclosed. However, they are not determined solely by the number of people who attend them. Mass gatherings and events at risk from terrorism may include, but are not limited to:
■ sporting venues and stadiums
■ shopping complexes and open air markets
■ business precincts
■ tourist attractions
■ cultural facilities, convention centres and entertainment venues
■ hotels and resorts
■ mass passenger transport hubs and precincts
■ major planned events, and
■ education facilities.
The self-assessment tool is a quick and easy way to assess the attractiveness of your venue or event to acts of terrorism.
By entering details about the location, type, duration and significance of the event, the tool identifies the risk for your event as having few, some or many of the characteristics that may make it an attractive target. SAPOL will then follow up with guidance material to assist you in planning as well as discussing existing security plans and emergency response plans to protect your patrons and your business.
Mass gatherings and events are an important part of our lifestyle so we need to safeguard against these threats to ensure we continue to enjoy them. Integrating terrorism into an all-hazards approach to planning will help to ensure we are better protected and prepared. Completing this self-assessment is the first step.