At Last….Positive Feedback for Showsec Stewards from Arena InquiryPeter Houghton
As the outcomes on the inquiry into the Manchester Arena Tragedy begin to appear today in terms of the safety and security arrangements on that fateful evening, Manchester Evening News has extolled the virtues of the enormous efforts of the Showsec stewards and supervisors, almost all of which are known to me personally.
Praise always seems to be given to the “front line” or the “first line” in an incident of this nature. Nobody ever seems to have a good word to say for the “Zero line”, the people who are already there, the people who work on an event-by-event basis who never in their wildest nightmares expect to be involved in something like this. It’s one thing to be trained on how to do emergency evacuations of a venue. It’s another to be faced with an incident that changes the national thinking on safety and security, an incident that ultimately told us that our national security is at risk on a daily basis in crowded spaces.
I have only commented on a couple of occasions in these pages, but you will see that not long after the incident when it was popular to take a dig at the organizational arrangements, I wrote an article stating almost precisely what the Manchester Evening News has discovered in this article.
Many of us will remember the impassioned presentation given by Alan Wallace, then a senior manager with Showsec on the effect the incident had on the individuals and the business generally. It was one of the best ever presentations at an FSOA Conference.
From the FSOA’s point of view, we really pray that our venues will never be faced with a repetition of this incident. We also respect the roles played by the Arena stewards on 22 May 2017.