Protecting mass gatherings: let’s leverage private security professionals

Image courtesy of Flickr user Guru Nathan.

Mass gatherings protection is focused on counterterrorism and public safety. Compared to critical infrastructure protection, however, it’s been the area least amenable to national leadership.

The issue has recently been highlighted in regional NSW. Four cancelled Anzac Day marches in Katoomba, Blackheath, Springwood and Glenbrook may now go ahead after the Blue Mountains local council said it would assist with the costs of the NSW government’s new anti-terrorism requirements. After last year’s terrorist truck attack in Nice, local government imposed new security legislation designed to protect crowds, including a requirement for water-filled barriers. Demand for greater security mechanisms in public spaces will only increase after the recent deaths in Melbourne’s CBD. And that type of security, along with the NSW government’s requirements, won’t come cheap.

Governments want to keep