Generally for smaller events, the only security you will need is the vigilance of your staff. The larger the event the greater the need for a dedicated security presence.
There are many aspects of security that should be considered in relation to a larger event and broadly speaking the security presence can be divided into two classes, police presence and private security.
Don’t expect the police to provide uniformed car park attendants for you! The police are a public service and they are there to help you, but unfortunately their resources are stretched so they cannot waste resources on car parks.
The police do have a duty to keep traffic flowing on the public highway and most forces accept that if there is an event or show in their area, they will need to allocate sufficient officers to keep the traffic flowing smoothly.
As early as possible in your investigation and planning process, you should be consulting your local police; include security in your discussions. They have vast experience with planning and handling large events, and are keen to keep disruption to a minimum. Where possible, you should get their co-operation. Apart from the obvious advice as to traffic flow and car park entrances and exits, they are a useful source of information regarding conflicting events. Organisers of other events have almost certainly been in contact with them to help plan and arrange their events, so the police liaison officer can let you know if other similar or conflicting events have been arranged in the area for your proposed date
Even the smallest event may attract the passing attention of the local area beat police officer, which itself can be appreciated by junior school fetes etc.
Larger events will attract considerable numbers of vehicles and, because the police have a duty to keep traffic flowing, they will advise and may attend the event. After consultation with you during the investigation and planning stages, they will probably have assigned sufficient officers and supervisors to ensure that the roads remain open as far as possible. This may include erecting ‘Slow’ signs, but they are less likely to be involved in the distribution and collection of no parking cones etc. Depending on circumstances, the police may station police officers on traffic points at major junctions etc.
For very large events, the local traffic and highways authority may also arrange for temporary traffic regulation orders modifying local traffic regulations, that allow the police to enforce temporary one-way systems, no right turns and parking restrictions etc. If this is required, it needs to be included in the earliest discussions and planning. Take advice from the local police and traffic and highways authority.
The police have a duty to prevent crime and will always respond to thefts and fights etc., as long as resources and priorities allow (if police are dealing with a murder, a call about a shoplifter will almost certainly have to wait and a car park obstruction won’t even be considered).
Therefore, if problems develop on the event site and the police are called, depending on resources available and their workload at that time, it is likely that they will arrive and deal with the problem, though it is not guaranteed.
As a courtesy, try where possible to provide on-site facilities for the police assigned to the event, making a rest room/tent, parking area and separate toilet facilities available near the main entrance for ease of access.
Paid police cover
By prior arrangement almost all forces will allocate police officers to provide cover on site at a large event, but the event organisers will have to pay the appropriate rate for that presence. This can be quite expensive.
You are probably wondering why you would need police attendance at an event ground, where the weather is going to be fine and members of the public will be in a happy carefree mood. There are two functions that the police can fulfil: deterrent and reactive.
The presence of police officers on site acts as a deterrent because criminals are less likely to be active with a uniformed police presence. Also, on-site police can react immediately; they are are ideally located and are trained and equipped to deal with any incident that may occur.