Saturday night’s party showed why crowd control is a delicate and volatile yet necessary affair.
At 9.30 pm I spotted four males sitting on a fence, six houses up from my client’s. All were drinking and using their mobile phones.
In my experience, when people hang round like this, it’s time to disperse and move them on to minimise the risk of gatecrashers.
I rang local police and said that:
- They already had my written notification of the party.
- We had potential gatecrashers.
- We’d really appreciate a police van drive-by.
The policeman said the van was tied up and he didn’t know when it’d be free.
I warned the parents, who took station in front of their home to deter the threat.
Twenty minutes later the gatecrashers came up the driveway – intoxicated and aged 15-17.
I recognised one boy (from a very-well-known private school) and noted his name for possible future use.
Yet again, these kids had seen the party on Facebook. Though none of their names was on the guest list, they wanted in.
When this didn’t happen, they became agitated and abused the parents and my security staff. They refused to leave the area, saying they had plenty of booze to stay and create their own party.
I called police again to repeat my request. The van was still tied up, but the member offered to call 000 for me.
I knew it was better that he rang, as police get priority and can often speak to radio operators directly.
But still no van appeared.
We now had a situation that could go either way.
- We didn’t know if the gatecrashers were armed.
- They were aggressively targeting my male staff member.
- The parents were annoyed and stressing that we didn’t have police back-up.
We needed a tactical shift. So, drawing on my policing expertise, I took over the situation.
I talked to the gatecrashers for half an hour, managed to build rapport with them and finally got them to leave.
Once again, having access to both male and female crowd control dynamics did the trick.
I later learned that a huge police operation in the CBD had drained suburban resources.
This had been a great success, but it did leave local homes vulnerable.
In these trying times, most will agree that more police resources would be a good thing.
When it comes to parties, police presence is particularly important between 9 and 11 pm.
Most times, a simple drive-by is all you need to nip serious trouble in the bud.
Here’s what my client wrote to me after the party:
‘Hi Naomi, sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and thank you so much.
I will be writing a letter to our local police station verbalising my disappointment in the response we received, considering we had done everything possible to avoid any problems by having a safe party plan and by following all your recommendations, and then to be let down by the police with something that was out of our control.
Your negotiating skills are innumerable and your experience certainly shows through in how you manage people.
I just am so grateful for all your work. Cheers, L.’
So there you go. Even the hardest night can have a happy ending – so long as you know what you’re doing! 🙂
Naomi Oakley, Managing Director, U-NOME Security Communication Specialists.