Nights need expert handling by a sufficient force
of mature, trained professionals –
Last week a mum contacted me at 7pm on Friday night. She wanted my crew immediately at a party that already had got out of hound, 200 14 year olds and the kids were providing security. Her comments were as follows: Naomi it’s chaos, kids drunk, some passed out and the parent is allowing her older teenagers to work as security. The parents have no idea (No kidding!)
A crowd controller was assigned to work with 3 other crowd controllers via another security company at a party near Mordialloc. No prior risk assessment was conducted. The staff members received communication to indicate the party was a 26th birthday. On arrival they were told it was a 16th birthday. A little bit different! Party was shut down by Police at 10.30 pm
This week a mother booked my services and paid the deposit to secure booking. The mother informed me that 140 kids would be attending and a combination of schools. Immediately I recommended 3 staff. She would only use my services if I would supply 2 staff and were not concerned about the alcohol management. She was informed that I would not be supply staff to this event. She was happy to lose her deposit and try a generic security company.
Throughout my career (13 years at Victoria Police and 8 years specialising in teen events) I’ve seen my share of disaster.
These days, I also receive many calls from staff from other security firms.
They call because they’re concerned about the types of teen parties to which their employer is sending them.
I think it’s vital security firms ensure the events they send their staff to are safe.
I’m not just talking alcohol; there are many more issues to worry about, like:
· Perimeter fencing.
· Exit and entry points.
· Ratio of guests to crowd control staff
Some security firms send just one crowd controller to a party with 100 guests! Or 2 people for a teen party of 140 guests
How can inadequate staff numbers handle a brawl? Or simultaneously patrol dark, unsafe back areas while gatecrashers invade the front and sides?
It is clear that most security firms do not conduct any risk assessments at these celebrations thus placing guests, hosts, property and even their own staff in danger.
Unfortunately, this case isn’t rare. I liaise with many parents and teens seeking crowd control for their parties. Often they:
· Haven’t budgeted for the event.
· Don’t accept the quote and information given.
· Are too weak to stand up to their kids or peers.
· Don’t insist an alcohol plan is put in place.
They then choose the security firm with the lowest quote who don’t care if the alcohol is managed. (We have plenty of back yard security operators that do not have ANY insurance )
This firm will ask a few questions (maybe) and send one or two (at most) teenaged crowd controllers, to deal with other teens.
This is a very bad start.
In addition to the crowd controllers being the same age as the host and/or guests, they often lack the experience and maturity to deal with the myriad of dicey situations uncontrolled environments invariably throw up.
It completely defeats the purpose of having security.
Event hosts expect their crowd controllers to:
1. Enter the property if guests get too drunk.
2. Break up fights that arise from the lack of planning or (backbone) from the parents.
Meanwhile, the ‘responsible adults’ at these events often have a party of their own elsewhere on the property.
I believe security firms must ensure the staff they assign to teen parties operate in a safe environment.
It’s not only their duty to provide a safe workplace under occupational health and safety laws.
It’s also the right and decent thing to do by their staff, their clients
and our community.