Venues and Public Spaces, Take Note: Duty to Protect May Be Closer Than You Think

It’s no secret that heightened security at major sporting venues, concert arenas, airports, and other major public areas is a non-negotiable these days. The public is more aware than ever of the security risks that come with being in large public spaces, especially since there is no shortage of news stories about international terror threats and violence within the United States, itself. While many state and local authorities, as well as private venues themselves have taken steps to make their spaces safer, the U.K. government is going with a more formal approach.


In February of 2021 U.K. Security Minister, James Brokenshire, detailed new plans to “introduce a law which will require owners and operators of public spaces and venues to put in place measures to keep the public safe from a terrorist attack.” To achieve these new security standards businesses can incorporate advanced security technology, more involved training for safety personnel, and even more detailed incident response plans for if and when a terror attack occurs. This ground-breaking legislation is the first of its kind and certainly raises public safety issues to a whole new level, globally.


We can’t help but think back to spring 2016 when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first enacted, and wonder if we’ll see a similar snowball effect in the case of public safety. GDPR is a strong example of a major piece of legislation from Europe that sent shockwaves throughout global companies, particularly social networks (most of which are headquartered in the United States). Industries and state governments have since started taking action to make up for gaps in federal legislation regarding data privacy – think, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It’s entirely reasonable to expect a similar pattern will happen with enhanced security requirements.


Right now in the U.S., public safety is effectively managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as its law enforcement partners at the state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus levels. DHS actually recognizes these partners as the country’s first line of defense against terrorism and public safety threats. The good news is, public spaces and large venues can start implementing the most advanced, AI-driven, and non-intrusive, safety technology today. Patriot One offers an AI-managed security system featuring covert gun and knife detection sensor technology, video threat recognition software, chemical multi-compound airborne threat sensors, and more. All of this can be administered while actually improving customer-experience and decreasing wait times at security checkpoints.


While it may not be legally required (yet) in the United States to put in place this level of security, this approach to public safety can certainly be a competitive advantage. If all Major League Baseball stadiums had advanced security technology in place that not only screened out guns, but could also pre-emptively identify unruly behavior by people in the crowd, could it be a  part of the solution to MLB’s issue of decreased attendance? Would fans spend more time in the ballpark before and after the event if they knew it was safe from weapons and disorderly people? If so, this could lead to a significant opportunity for increased revenue


What about popular fairs and music festivals, like Coachella or Bonnaroo? These might seem impossible to effectively secure, because there is no physical infrastructure. However, modern mobile security setups and temporary safety measures are attainable and could take these events to next-level success but eliminating security risks.


By getting ahead of the latest public safety trends, businesses and public spaces can improve the customer experience and avoid having to undergo expensive emergency upgrades when regulations like Duty to Protect are enacted. More importantly, they can deliver a safe experience for customers that also increases revenue and profits – and that’s a win anywhere in the world.