At this year’s V Festival, event security specialist Showsec once again demonstrated the value of working closely with the local police service on initiatives designed to combat crime. In doing so, the Leicester-based SIA Approved Contractor helped to improve the customer experience for thousands of gig-goers at Weston Park.
Showsec implemented its trusted Crime Reduction Strategy as part of an extensive operational plan geared towards providing a safe and enjoyable environment for those visiting the Staffordshire venue. A significant reduction in the number of crime-related incidents contributed to the success of this year’s V Festival, at the same time highlighting the positive impact of Showsec’s close liaison with Staffordshire Police in the effective delivery of that strategy.
As a result of an ongoing commitment to raising standards, Showsec not only works hand-in-hand with the police service at festivals for which it provides security and safety solutions, but in some cases effectively serves as an extension of police services. In certain roles, the company can even operate as a substitute for them.
“The planning phase was centrally focused on the delivery of a security and crowd management operation taking over a number of onsite policing roles in order to pro-actively reduce crime,” explained Mark Logan, Showsec’s director who was at the head of a vastly experienced management structure put in place by the company in readiness for the 2014 V Festival.
“In close liaison with Staffordshire Police, we employed a number of systems such as enhanced search, crime teams and plain clothes operatives, all of which have contributed to a reduction in the year-on-year crime figures for the event. While the central focus was on crime reduction, this didn’t dilute our core operating ethos of providing a high standard of customer service.”
Logan was supported by three of the company’s regional managers – namely Steve Reynolds, Richard Church and Scott Anderson – all of whom fulfilled key operational roles.
On top of that, Martin Lewis (one of several area managers on duty throughout the V Festival) was in charge of the Crime Reduction Strategy as Showsec deployed a 150-strong management and supervisory team to direct more than 1,300 security staff across both the main arena and the camp sites within the grounds of Weston Park.
Strong team of professional agencies
Andy Redhead, organiser of the V Festival on behalf of Roseclaim, explained: “We are continually striving to improve the V Festival experience and enhance the event’s long-established reputation for being one of the biggest and best festivals in the UK. For us to be able to continue raising the bar, we do need the active support of a strong team of professional agencies. In the two years that the company has been involved with our event at Weston Park, Showsec has certainly made a significant contribution to the V Festival. The way in which the company has worked so closely with Staffordshire Police has certainly helped us to take important strides forward.”
Superintendent Elliott Sharrard-Williams, the V Festival Police Commander, added: “We were very pleased with the weekend’s policing operation. Our officers, staff and members of the Special Constabulary have been working closely with event security teams to ensure that everyone enjoyed the festival and stayed safe. This year, we shared several of the traditionally police-led activities with Showsec, including the search operation and patrol functions.”
Sharrard-Williams continued: “In order to ensure that the festival was a success, we worked closely with Showsec and the event organiser for nigh on twelve months. During this time, we intricately planned the crime and safety aspects of the festival. Undoubtedly, this helped to make it a successful event. The V Festival is like dropping a small town on Weston Park. Criminals will always try to target visitors so it’s really pleasing that the crime numbers were significantly reduced compared to previous years.”
The V Festival Police Commander added: “Officers were working around the clock, and not just within the park. Neighbourhood officers were on regular patrol in the local communities and our Road Crime Team supported traffic flow around the area. This has been a real team effort. Event management, security teams and dozens of other partners worked together extremely well to make the weekend a success. We’ve already begun to plan for next year.”
High standards of customer service
The two-day music festival was headlined by Justin Timberlake, The Killers and Ed Sheeran, while other performers included Paolo Nutini, Example and the Kaiser Chiefs.
Showsec’s Mark Logan added: “We set ourselves a series of auditable targets in our second year onsite at Weston Park by way of seeking to provide a high standard of customer service. For example, with the help of festival organiser Roseclaim we really focused on delivering a bespoke service to the disabled areas which was borne out of experienced industry practice. This married up the central features of customer service in the arena market with the complexity of delivery to the festival environment.”
Logan concluded: “While delivering on our key aims, Showsec has also continued to grow its knowledge of the site. This helped to ensure that we engineered the crowd management plan to maximise the safety and enjoyment of our customers and the artists who were performing.”