Unless you live on another planet, it’s highly unlikely that you’ve never experienced a security search. It’s almost impossible to gain entry to a festival or large sporting event without being searched, and with ever-increasing acts of terrorism, this situation is unlikely to change. If anything, we would suggest that this trend is, if anything, increasing.
Most times event organisers organise security companies, such as ours, to ensure their event remains trouble-free and as safe as possible. But how does this apply to the hordes of festival-goers themselves? What if a security guard reacts to an off the cuff remark made by an individual, which results in that person being abused either verbally or physically? What rights do they have? Or did walking through the gates of the festival or event, meaning that they gave up any rights they may have had previously.
We’ve put together a few tips and legal know-how to help you deal with the necessary security search, quickly and painlessly.
Know your rights
Firstly, it’s against the law for event organisers to hide behind a sign that states ‘ purchasing a ticket means that you agree to be searched’ in order that their security team can be aggressive physically or verbally if they happen to take a dislike to you. In other words, they have no right to manhandle or search you inappropriately, and if you feel that this has indeed occurred, then you have the right of complaint. We recommend that you have a friend with you who can document the encounter and that you ask to speak to a person of authority. We’d like to stress at his point, that we take this kind of allegation very seriously.
A pat search is fine, provided it’s carried out without the individual feeling as if they are being ‘groped’. Private security companies do have the right to carry out reasonable searches on people as a condition of their entry, but this is solely on the proviso that they’re looking for dangerous objects or weapons.
Stay cool, calm, and collected
Sure festival searches are inconvenient but we’re sure most of you agree that they are a very necessary procedure. To be totally blunt, you can make the whole experience more amenable simply by adapting your demeanour and your attitude.
Security guards are trained to act on their instincts and gut feelings, and if you don’t meet their eye or appear anxious or fidgety, then it’s only natural that they may think you’re hiding something.
On the other hand, if you’re polite and even manage a cheery smile, and don’t have banned items in your possession, you’ll probably get through the search that much faster. It’s only fair to remember that the security team are only doing their job – so why not make it easier for both of you.
Finally, it’s frustrating for the security personnel and for the person behind you in the queue to find themselves waiting while you spend minutes looking for your ID, ticket, or wristband. Do everyone a favour and have these things ready on a show for when it’s your turn to be searched.
Follow these tips and you’ll soon have the knack of sailing through security checks without feeling the least bit stressed or annoyed.
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Meanwhile, if you need any help with organising your event or festival then look us up. We’re experts in the security field and have helped numerous large events run without a glitch. Call MA Security Guards on 1300 020 406.