Venue Security & Protect Duty
The NEC Group has extensive knowledge and experience in ensuring the safe delivery of events across our venues. From hosting The Royal Family to the G8 Summit, multiple party conferences, international touring artists and hundreds more every year, we use a series of security measures to keep our venues safe for visitors.
Across nearly five decades we have worked closely with the police, the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) and their local Counter Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSA) to deter and detect potential threats from entering our venues and the surrounding external public circulation spaces. We have a close partnership with West Midlands Police and carry out regular Project Servator operations. This policing tactic is where uniformed and plain clothes officers can visit at any time in and around the venue, deploying a range of measures that aim to disrupt criminal activity.
We maintain a multi-layered approach, both overt and covert. These include vehicular and pedestrian access control supported by the proactive use of technology and CCTV monitoring systems. So, while you may not see all operational security activity, you should be assured that it is ongoing, often behind the scenes, to prevent crime and keep you safe on site.
On Tuesday 2nd May 2023, the Home Office published a draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill known as Martyn’s Law. The new draft law will ensure that the UK will be better prepared for, and protected from, terrorist attacks — making the responsibility for counter-terrorism in public spaces a legislative requirement, an aid to our ongoing efforts.
The NEC Group fully supports the bill and as a responsible venue operator, is committed to providing safe venues with robust security, medical and welfare regimes in place. To this end, thorough risk assessments, trained and competent personnel and effective liaison between venues, event organisers, local authorities, and the emergency services, play a hugely important part in keeping our venues and attendees safe.
The security measures and procedures we already have in place across our venues include:
- State-of-the-art CCTV monitoring and communications centres
- Search and screening technology at venue entrances
- Regular attendance from uniformed and plain-clothed police officers
- A Response and Conflict Management team
- A Behavioural Detection team
- Dedicated security dog team
- Vehicle checkpoints
- Hostile vehicle mitigation protection
- Use of security management systems
- Appropriately qualified and mandatory trained security staff
- Health and safety risk assessments for every event
- Frequent stress testing and mandatory training on data protection and cyber security
- We are members of arena, exhibition and conference association security working groups
Trust Your Instincts!
Everyone has an important role to play in helping us by reporting anything that doesn’t feel right, for example, any unattended items or someone acting suspiciously. If something doesn’t feel right- report it. It’s better to be safe.
See it, say it, sorted:
- Tell our security team
- Report in confidence any suspicious activity at gov.uk/ACT or on 0800 789 321
- Call 999 in an emergency
What are your current security measures?
Your safety and security is our top priority. Working together with local and national authorities, security measures at our Arenas are under constant review to ensure that they remain effective and proportionate.
We have comprehensive and integrated overt security measures in place including; tailored venue search operations, strategically placed security personnel, multi-purpose dog response teams and intelligence led CCTV monitoring.
In addition, extensive covert security measures are also in place, so whilst you may not see all operational security activity, you should be assured that activity is on-going, often behind the scenes.
We work in partnership with West Midlands Police, who often deploy a variety of resources to work alongside our teams.
These controls and other protective measures are in place across all NEC Group venues, throughout event periods and at all other times.
What can you do to help?
- We encourage you to arrive to the venue as early as possible, to allow more time for enhanced security checks.
A full list of prohibited items can be viewed in the FAQ tab: ’What items are not permitted to be brought into the venue’
- Our security teams work hard to keep you safe, please be patient and help them by co-operating with their requests
- Customers who make any inappropriate comments to staff or other event goers, even in jest, will be refused entry
- As always, please remain vigilant and if something doesn’t look right, you should speak to staff or the Police who will take appropriate action.
Will I be searched?
In the interests of safety and security, a search will take place. Please allow additional time for this process.
The security search process is a condition of entry. Any refusal or the use of abusive, threatening or discriminatory remarks, including comments relating to weapons or explosives will result in access being refused.
Our bag policy
To help speed things up, enable a contactless entry and to ensure your safety, we’d really prefer if you didn’t bring a bag to our venue.
However, if you do, please only bring essentials with you and not the kitchen sink. You must only bring one bag that is no larger than 21cm x 30cm x 19cm – that’s the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
For full details on our bag policy, click here.
I was at an event recently and my bag wasn’t checked?
Bag searching is just one of many components which go into our security measures but for obvious reasons, we don’t go into specific security details for individual shows as this is potentially detrimental to these processes.
We have additional security measures in place including visible armed police and dog patrols throughout event periods and at all venues to ensure you guys feel relaxed and comfortable whilst at the show. Also, just a heads up, searches will be carried out throughout the day and evening on all our sites, so be cooperative if one of the teams ask.
What items are not permitted to be brought into the venue?
At Utilita Arena Birmingham we’re all about ensuring every visitor has a great time, but rules are rules. It’s a condition of our venue licence that certain items are not allowed into the Arena in the interests of health and safety. These items include, but are not limited to:
Hot food | Alcohol | Glass bottles | Cans | Flasks | Cool boxes | Hampers | Large flags/banners | Helium balloons | Studded belts | Dog collars | Trouser chains | Selfie Sticks | Sharp/large rings | Smoke Grenades | Flares | Fireworks.
Items will be confiscated and returned to you after the event, which may delay your access into and out of the Arena. If in doubt, leave it home would be our recommendation. Please note, prohibited items vary on a show-to-show basis; please refer to your ticket terms and conditions for any items that are not allowed into the venue.
What can you do to help?
It is best for everyone if you do not bring a bag at all, however if you do, please only bring essentials with you:
Any bag larger than 21cm x 30cm x 19cm – that’s the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
A full list of prohibited items can be viewed in the ‘Dos and Don’ts of what to bring’ section below
What advice are you giving people coming to your venue?
If you’re coming to a show in the near future, we’re encouraging you guys to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity you may to see to a member of our security staff or the police. Please give yourselves plenty of time when planning your journey and get here as early as you can as enhanced security checks will be in place.
How will queuing be affected?
We encourage you guys to arrive as early as possible to allow time for enhanced security checks when heading into the venue.
We have additional security measures in place including visible armed police and dog patrols throughout event periods and at all venues to ensure you guys feel relaxed and comfortable whilst at the show. Also, just a heads up, searches will be carried out throughout the day and evening at all sites, so be prepared if one of the guys ask.
- What are your current security measures?
• Our security teams work hard to keep you safe, please be patient and help them by co-operating with their requests
• Customers who make any inappropriate comments to staff or other event goers, even in jest, will be refused entry
• As always, please remain vigilant and if something doesn’t look right, you should speak to staff or the Police who will take appropriate action.