Important Lessons from Manchester

Last Monday, radical Islamist Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured 116 others when he blew himself up using a homemade bomb in the midst of a crowd exiting the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. The horrific attack raised questions as to what can be done to ensure this never happens again. In an article from last Wednesday’s edition of the Boston Herald, journalist Jack Encarnacao interviewed top-level security experts such as Taino Consulting Group's CEO Herby Duverné to discuss potential solutions to keep people safe at large events and mass gatherings like the concert targeted for the attack.

The first major step, articulated by Mr. Duverné, is that event organizers need to be vigilant even after an event ends to protect event goers “all the way through.” In contrast to pre-event admittance, where people are entering the venue up to two hours before or after the start of the event, post-event security is generally much more chaotic and crowded, since a majority of the crowd exits the venue within a 30-minute span. For this reason, long queues lead to bottlenecks and pile-ups as people are trying to leave an event, creating an opportunity for terrorists to generate mass casualties with an attack.

Another proposed solution to post-event security is the use of K-9s trained to detect explosives, such as the homemade bomb used in the attack. Furthermore, it is essential that arenas and venues designed for large crowds are up to date with the technology that’s available. Surveillance camera technology has greatly improved over the past few years, now providing event security teams, first responders, and law enforcement with more reliable surveillance tactics, such as behavior pattern recognition.

While there is no perfect solution to protecting large crowds, these recommendations will provide an event or venue security team with the best possible preparation, mitigation, and response to help keep their patrons safe.

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