Events and demonstrations
In an average year South Yorkshire Police is involved with a large number of events and protests. These range from small country fairs through to city centre protests and international sporting events.
All need careful planning so they run smoothly and safely.
Police work with a range of partners, organisations and event organisers throughout this process.
Events can include marches, parades, fun runs, road races, cycle races, charity walks, music festivals, shows, fetes and street parties.
Remember - careful planning and organisation will help ensure an event is successful and above all safe.
Planning an event
To help event organisers and ensure the safety of all events a joint policy has been agreed by the following authorities:
• The local authorities of South Yorkshire
• South Yorkshire Police
• Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
• South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
• South Yorkshire Emergency Planning Unit
• Northumberland Emergency Planning Department
The aim is to:
"Create uniformity in the application of safety requirements and guidance, across the region to ensure appropriate safety advice is provided to individuals and organisations that are planning a public event."
Once the authority has been notified of an event, a Preliminary Safety Advisory Group will be arranged, followed if necessary by a Formal Safety Advisory Group.
This group will discuss the event and give advice on anything else the organiser needs to do, suggested improvements and any safety concerns which need to be addressed.
Who is responsible for the event?
The organiser and/or landowner is responsible for safety at public events for event personnel, volunteers and members of the public. It is a legal requirement that appropriate insurance cover is provided for the event, in respect of public and employers liability.
Copies of insurance certificates will have to be validated and your local authority can advise on this matter.
You should ensure any safety documentation is easily available for examination so you can show you have planned your event safely before the event takes place, including any necessary plans, calculations and drawings.
It is often thought the police are the lead agency when it comes to approving all public events. This is not the case.
The role of the police when supporting events is:
• To prevent or stop a breach of the peace
• To prevent and detect crime
• To work within traffic regulations with legal powers
• Activation and co-ordination of contingency plans.
What you need to do ahead of the event
You need to give details of your event to the local authority where the event will take place.
You should ensure you provide sufficient notice of your event.
The amount of time that needs to be set aside for planning will be very much dependent on the size, type and duration of the event.
However as a general rule at least three months notice should be given for a small event.
Your local authority can give advice on appropriate time scales for planning and, where required, licence or other applications.
Points to consider about your event
There are quite a few points you need to think about when planning an event. These include:
• Do you need any special licences or permissions?
• Is the site suitable for your event?
• Have you carried out a risk assessment to make sure you have all the necessary health and safety measures in place?
• Have you decided who should be responsible for the safety of your event?
• Have you provided necessary information, for example, maps and site/route plans?
• Do you know how many people you are expecting?
• If your event takes place on public highways, then have you applied for temporary road closures, if necessary (via your local authority)?
• Have you considered any traffic management arrangements – barriers/coning/sterile areas
• Do you know where the entrances and exits on your site are?
• Are the entrances and exits controlled, signed and suitable for disabled people?
• Do you have trained and briefed stewards/marshals?
• Have you set up a good system of communication between key people?
• Have you set up a good system of communications with the audience/crowd/ participants?
• Are crowd control barriers necessary?
• Are emergency procedures in place and have these been agreed with the emergency services?
• Can emergency vehicles get on and off site/onto route easily?
• Do you have effective fire control measures in place?
• Do you have adequate first aid facilities?
• Do you need any other special arrangements – for example, for lost children, lost property, drinking water, toilets, noise control or parking?
• Have you produced an Event Safety Plan/Operating Procedure to include all information about the event, as well as contingency arrangements?