crowd control Archives - NPB Security | Perth Security Guards, Mobile Patrol and Crowd Control

NPB Security Celebrates Fringe Festival Partnership

NPB Security is proud to have supported another successful FRINGE WORLD Festival, with the popular event wrapping up last month.

Presented by not-for-profit ARTRAGE, the annual FRINGE WORLD Festival offers an array of entertainment for all age groups, including circus, cabaret, comedy, music, dance, theatre, film and visual art.

ARTRAGE Partnerships Manager Cassandra Jordan said despite a tough year in the face of Omicron and the heatwave, the 2022 Festival was a success, featuring 453 events across 113 venues.

“We are very grateful to have been able to offer our community 31 days of world-class entertainment, and for the more than 1,900 participating artists, the Festival has been a bright light after many months of cancelled and reduced opportunities due to COVID-19,” Cassandra said.

“Numbers are still being crunched, but the 2022 Festival is on track to achieve ticketed attendance of 230,000, which is an increase from 2021 Festival of 220,000. More than $6.4 million will be spent at the box office in 2022, an increase from 2021 where $5.9 million was spent.”

A highlight on the social calendar for many West Australians, Cassandra said FRINGE WORLD Festival is an event that allows thousands of artists to annually perform and achieve their goals.

“Audiences at FRINGE WORLD are very diverse, including mainstream audiences that rarely engage with the arts. This has a positive flow-on effect for the wider arts and cultural scene, with 88 per cent of audiences agreeing that they are more likely to attend more arts events in the future after their visit to FRINGE WORLD,” Cassandra said.

“For artists, the event is an opportunity to play to a big audience and 86 per cent of artists agree that FRINGE WORLD is an important presentation platform for their work in WA.”

Passionate about supporting local and community-based events and organisations, Director Scott Parry said the partnership with FRINGE WORLD is one NPB values immensely.

“We’ve been with Fringe from the very beginning, so it’s a partnership we hold in high regard,” Scott said.

“We provided guards in 2011 for the pilot year and have continued to service Fringe since. In 2016, NPB Security became an event partner, solidifying the importance of the partnership.”

FRINGE WORLD Festival is a highlight on the calendar for the entire NPB Security team.

“There is genuine excitement amongst the group during FRINGE WORLD Festival, our team love to get involved and even promote events themselves,” Scott said.

Cassandra said working with local businesses is a priority for FRINGE WORLD Festival.

“NPB has supported FRINGE WORLD Festival from the beginning. Without this support and the support from our other partners, the Festival would not have been able to grow to the well-loved iconic event it’s become,” Cassandra commented.

There isn’t much down time for the team at ARTRAGE, with 2023 planning commencing concurrently with the closing of the 2022 Festival.

“We are reviewing survey results, data and debriefs to inform our planning for next year’s Festival so that we continue to improve the event for the benefit of our artists, audiences and partners,” Cassandra said.

The last few years have been incredibly testing for not only FRINGE WORLD Festival but the arts and culture sector more broadly, following the huge impact of COVID-19.

“The 2021 event was impacted by a lockdown and capacity restrictions which had a significant financial impact for ARTRAGE and the participating artists,” Cassandra said.

“The 2022 Festival was impacted in a different way, particularly because the border control changes meant that 72 events were unable to be presented.”

“That said, we are proud of what we have achieved with the 2022 Festival and are grateful for the enthusiasm of our audiences, who were rewarded by experiencing the passion, energy and uniqueness of the Fringe entertainers’ talents.”

Be sure to visit a FRINGE WORLD Festival event next year and support the incredible talent within Western Australia. Find out more about FRINGE WORLD Festival here.

Crowd control warning as hospitality sector reopens

As hospitality businesses prepare for a staged return to operations in coming months, security firms are urging them to consider how to control crowds and manage ongoing safety issues.

Perth-based NPB Security’s co-director, David Barrett, says it is welcome news for the hospitality sector, but managing social distancing requirements and number limits could be problematic.

“A lot of venues are just not designed in a way that allows patrons to maintain 1.5m between each other,” Mr Barrett said.

“If you look at some of the problems that occurred in the retail sector when restrictions started to be put into place, you can only assume there’ll be some challenges encouraging crowds to abide by new rules in bars and other venues designed for socialising at close quarters.”

Mr Barrett said during the early stages of COVID-19 restrictions, incident reports from security personnel at retail outlets increased exponentially.

“It was like nothing we’d ever experienced before,” he said.

“People were obviously in panic mode and that was leading to incidents like 16-year-old checkout operators being verbally abused and threatened.

“The number of incident reports we were receiving rose from less than 20 a week to hundreds a day.”

Mr Barrett said it was a similar story for most security firms around the country as restrictions came into force and continued to change over time with little notice.

With no standard procedures or training modules in place to deal with such unprecedented changes, many security firms had to implement their own.

“We had to come up with training for something that no one had ever experienced before and the general public was in a similar situation, having to adapt to a way of life that they were completely unfamiliar with,” he said.

“That was happening as we were all getting our heads around the seriousness of this virus and fear was growing all the time. People can behave quite irrationally when they’re being driven by fear and uncertainty.”

For Brendon Sim, director of CBD venues Bar Lafayette and W Churchill, while there is some optimism among hospitality business owners, there are still many unknowns ahead.

“As soon as the bars reopen, people will think the cabin fever is over and will come back with a vengeance expecting to enjoy an afternoon or evening out,” Mr Sim said.

“The problem is that bars, pubs and clubs are not designed for social distancing but to fulfil venue capacity, which will create ongoing challenges.

“Walk-ins and queues at the doors will be very hard to manage with number limits and social distancing requirements, let alone people inside venues when there are restrictions on where they can be, how long they can be there or who they can be with.

“It’s a situation that will require very careful and visible crowd control, but we’re all bleeding from the loss of revenue after being closed, we will have limited turnover for a long time to come, and many in the sector will struggle with the costs of adequately managing these new restrictions.”

Mr Sim says he has the option to operate as reservation-only venues, but many operators would need more information before they could make informed decisions.

“Commercial kitchens and bars are not designed to operate at 50 per cent capacity – it’s an expensive and time consuming process to get them functional so we need a lot more certainty before we decide to open at all,” he said.

“While it is a good thing that we can start to open our doors again, it’s going to be a long and costly exercise to do so, and there are so many unknowns ahead.

“We’re going to need a lot of ongoing government support to cover the costs of crowd control while turnover remains limited.”
Mr Barrett believes that while there will no doubt be challenges as restrictions are relaxed, business operators, security personnel and the general public will be far better placed to adapt.

“The experiences gained in going into this thing will be valuable to help us come out of it,” he said.

“We’ve mandated that all our staff need to complete the AHA’s COVID-19 course that’s been put into place, and everyone now has some experience in dealing with staged changes, so I’m predicting a more seamless transition back to some sense of normality.

“But people are going to get excited about pubs and clubs reopening, and when excitement and alcohol are combined, security issues can arise.

“However, just like we’ve seen in the retail sector, most customers will adjust to the changes and settle into a new way of doing things.”