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Four in ten people fear for their safety at public events like music concerts and Christmas markets,  new research has found.

In the wake of recent terror attacks, a new research has found that these worries are so high for some people that it’s preventing them from attending public events altogether.

ATG Access, the manufacturer of bollards, road blockers and vehicle barrier systems, conducted the research as it wanted to help councils, town planners, and event organisers gain an insight into public opinions on the growing trend of multi-functional public spaces.

The study was part of ATG Access’ ‘Protecting the future of multifunctional cities’ report, which looks at how cities in the UK are being transformed into bustling multi-functional spaces, and the obstacles that are preventing public events from taking place.

Key findings

ATG Access asked 1,000 members of the public about the local events that take place where they live, the impact these activities have on their city or town, and the obstacles and barriers that can prevent events from taking place, such as security concerns.

According to the report, 29 per cent of the public said they now won’t go to large events taking place in the UK, due to concerns about the levels of security in place.

Two fifths (41%) of people also said they now won’t attend events if they think they will be overcrowded, through fear that it would be harder to leave if an incident was to happen.

Residents in London and the West Midlands are most worried about event safety, with 46% of people in each region expressing this concern.

The fear is also echoed in the North West (42%) – where attacks have recently taken place – and in Northern Ireland (41%) and Scotland (37%).

Concerns around overcrowding are at the highest in the East Midlands (57%), followed by London (46%), the South East (46%), Wales (44%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (40%).

ATG Event security

Security can be tackled by deploying more security personnel on the ground or with physical security solutions

Protect multifunctional cities

Commenting on the report, Gavin Hepburn, sales and marketing director at ATG Access, explained: “While there are numerous benefits to hosting events, there are of course some concerns that need addressing. Unfortunately, the worries around security come as little surprise given the increased number of terrorist attacks we have seen on our streets over recent years, with busy areas and tourist attractions often becoming the targets.”

Hepburn said reservations around overcrowding are also connected to this, due to the increased difficulties of monitoring hundreds if not thousands of people in one busy area at the same time.

“These worries must be considered by event organisers when planning out the venue, entrance points and layout of the location to make sure that visitors can enjoy the event comfortably,” Hepburn said.

Hepburn pointed out that robust security measures should be put in place at all major events to mitigate against potential attacks and create a greater sense of safety for visitors.

This could be through deploying more security personnel on the ground or installing physical security solutions, such as bollards or barriers.

“Ultimately, if people don’t feel safe at events, they may choose not to attend – and this would prevent cities and towns from developing into truly multifunctional spaces that can be used by all,” added Hepburn.

The ATG exec said both the government and organisers play a part in making events safe.

The full report is available to download from ATG Access website.