Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
January 15, 2018

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The State of Physical Access Control in EMEA Businesses – 2020 Report


Armed police now a familiar sight on British streets, but not familiar enough for some

More than one in three people would like to see more armed police at public events, a survey has revealed.

With the UK and Europe perpetually braced for terror attacks, 36% of the British public would be more reassured than alarmed to see armed officers patrolling music concerts, Christmas markets and other public events with large numbers of people.

Conducted by ATG Access, the poll of 1,000 people reckons with the psychological impact the wave of Islamist terror sweeping Europe has had on Brits. Fewer than half of respondents said that they wouldn’t let terror attacks stop them from enjoying organised events.

Unthinkable a few years ago, armed police are now a familiar sight at train stations, airports, Christmas markets and other ‘soft targets’.

Other insights from the survey based on security measures installed at public events and crowded public spaces:

  • 57% would like to see more security guards on duty
  • 39% would feel more at ease if emergency services, like paramedics, were on site and easily visible
  • 44% would now like to see visible physical perimeter security, such as bollards and barriers, to separate crowds from nearby traffic, thereby preventing vehicular attack
  • 48% would welcome bag searches
  • 33% think metal detectors should be used at event entrances to spot suspicious behaviour.
  • 41% would like to see more CCTV and flood-lighting to help monitor festive events and public areas.

The study was conducted as part of a report by ATG Access. Protecting the future of multifunctional cities examines how British cities are being reimagined as multi-functional spaces and the obstacles preventing public events from being held.

“With the increasing number of terror attacks that have taken place across Europe, tensions have understandably been heightened – particularly as the Manchester Arena was targeted last year,” Gavin Hepburn, director at ATG Access.

“The general consensus amongst the public seems to be that they’re not going to let the threat of terror ruin their spirit, but there are still some concerns around security and safety at public events.

“Brits are now calling on authorities to implement more visible security measures, such as more armed police on our streets and physical solutions like bollards and barriers, to protect public events. But, the most important thing to bear in mind is that these measures must not create a ‘fortress mentality’.

“While the public may feel safer knowing that security is being improved, solutions shouldn’t incite more fear and should enable people to enjoy the event. There are robust physical solutions now available that can blend in with their surroundings so that they’re almost invisible.”


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