We contemplate on whether security at the Global Citizen festival was over-engineered and aimed at a ‘steel ring’ of access control with little thought or strategy given to the safety of patrons once the event had ended. Did we not learn from the Manchester Arena attack in the UK last year? The Manchester attack was linked to terrorists, whilst on Sunday criminals caused terror to happy spectators trying to get home. Did the police and security operation fail in addressing the safe exit of festival-goers?
NSA Global supported a number of festival performers and also acted in a Global Citizen protocol capacity and can state that the stadium safety plan was a robust one, albeit possibly over-engineered. When the implementation of a good plan fails it invariably speaks to a failure at the management / leadership level, something that we are seeing far too often in South Africa. One ‘big name’ artist’s personal protection officer noted that he had never before seen so large a police and security operation, leaving more questions arising:
Why did the plan fall over?
What should happen now?
Who should have been responsible for securing safe egress from the stadium to peoples’ transport home?
How do authorities address and prevent this from happening again?
What were the shortfalls in the police / security planning and more importantly implementation?
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