With security an increasing concern no matter what environment we now find ourselves in, recent events over the past couple of years including terrorist attacks killing 130 people in Paris 32 in Brussels and 14 in San Bernardino, to name a few have led to a national scare when it comes down to security and maximising our safety. Conscious efforts are being made in all circumstances, and the highest of precautions are being taken to try and reduce any risk of the public’s safety being compromised.
The threat of an attack is now bigger than ever before, as it could potentially happen anytime, anyplace and anywhere. Many events and venues are now on ‘high alert’ for possible future attacks. Music festivals lend themselves to naturally being more vulnerable, the open-air and sheer size of the event and the amount of people in one space at one time, is far greater than staged, enclosed music venues for example. For instance around 135,000 people attended Glastonbury, the iconic British festival in 2016, covering over 900 acres of land.
Tighter measures are being introduced across many festivals in the hope of preventing another attack. Increasing the number of security at potential danger points, for example entrances, perimeters and particularly crowded areas is certainly one thing many are doing. As well has reinforcing perimeters, to attempt to deter unwanted visitors or items entering the festival site. Following the scares over the past year guests are also being asked to be a lot more vigilant and alert whilst on site, being urged to report any suspicious behaviour they see to members of the security teams. The banning of many items across numerous festivals has also been introduced as a tactic in preventing breaches of security measures. Parklife festival in Manchester, UK controversially banned ‘man-bags’ from entering the festival site along with selfie sticks, and fireworks, following antisocial and violent behaviour in previous years which consequently resulted in one death, and three others being severely hurt from multiple stabbings. Whilst fires were once always permitted at Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK, these now sadly have had to follow suit and be added to a very long list of prohibited items.
As well as general security threats, festival security also has another risk at its peril, festival goers go hand in hand with drinking, dancing, and in the sunshine if they’re lucky. But with this also comes the inevitable use of taking illegal substances. As a result tighter security is needed to ensure both staff and guests safety is not jeopardised. With drug abuse proving to be a constant issue at festivals, festivals are demanding a high quality and effective avenue to try overcome this. Organisers of these events are becoming increasingly reliant on the use of specialist sniffer dogs. These dogs and their handlers have expertise and experience in dealing with these illegal substances, trained to detect attempted drugs, explosives and firearms arriving into the festival grounds by being placed at entrances, exits, queues and any other major public access points.
Where the likelihood of drug use and drug smuggling is heightened, such as in the atmosphere of a festival, sniffer dogs prove a real asset to organisers in helping to try combat this and maximise the safety of everyone. Their ability to detect even the faintest of smells, even when masked by other odours, concealed, or well hidden. They are professionally trained to ignore traces of normal human associated smells such as food, which eliminates any possibility of confusion and ensures maximum success in detecting illegal substances. Their training also includes how to correctly behave, being non-aggressive and as to not cause any possible damage to the public or their belongings.
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