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December 6, 2021

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Event Security

Wizkid security breach at 02 Arena heightens focus on the need to review current event safety measures

Nigerian singer, Wizkid, was performing at the 02 arena on Sunday 28th November, when a group of fans damaged security barriers and stormed past security in order to enter the popular venue without authorisation.

Videos from the evening quickly began circulating on social media, showing a swarm of people dodging security barriers and forcing their way into the venue.

A spokeswoman told the BBC, “a breach of the security cordon on the arena entrance occurred” and “a number of fans in the queue were able to enter the venue”.

In the footage shared on social media, fans can be seen flooding through the security checkpoint, while a metal-detecting arch is knocked over. Another woman can also be seen shoving a security worker.

The incident comes after IFSEC Global recently reported that ‘65% of people want safer stadiums and arenas’, according to a new YouGov survey, with crowd safety management proving to be a particular concern.

Mark Morgan, Business Manager for Licensing SAVI, and former Police Superintendent, commented on the recent statistics, stating that venue safety and security is especially important now that the UK terrorism threat level has been raised to severe following the recent explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Severe is the second highest threat level that can be set in the UK, meaning an “attack is highly likely”.

A spokesperson for the O2 provided a statement to the BBC, in which they said, “The situation was quickly contained by staff and the incident resolved.”

The arena, which holds up to 20,000 people, confirmed that they would be reviewing security procedures following the incident.

The news comes following an independent review into the chaos that took place at Wembley during this year’s Euro 2020 final, where around 2,000 ticketless supporters made it into the ground. The review found that there was a collective failure by organisations involved in planning the final and that a “series of near misses” could have led to “serious injury or even loss of life.”

The Government has released updated guidance for increasing the protection of crowded places from terrorist attack. Documents cover everything from managing risk and building response plans, through to advice when guarding against different threats such as bombs, or vehicles being used as weapons. The Crowded Places guidance is available here. 

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