Message from the Chief Commissioner

Crime Prevention & Community Safety

Major events

Release date: Mon 27 August 2007

Last updated: Mon 23 December 2013

Everyday Australians attend public events organised by individuals, businesses or community organisations. Major public events can include music festivals, markets, sporting events, street parades, dance parties, rallies, concerts and other community celebrations. 

Going to a major event should be safe and fun. Whether you are staying for a few hours or all weekend, you will need to plan ahead and keep safe. There are some simple precautions that will make your day or night easier and safer.

Be alert

At an event use your actions to make it clear that you are alert, confident and not alone.

Be prepared

Planning ahead will make your time more enjoyable and will help prepare you for any surprises. Tell someone where you are going and what time you will return so they will know if something unexpected has happened.

At the event, find out where first aid, security or police assistance is located. Do not take too many belongings and bags with you, and find out what you can take into the event in advance.

Know your way

Getting to, from and around a major event can be confusing when there are large crowds, closed roads and special public transport timetables. When you arrive, work out the basics on how to get around, and look out for any maps or guides that will help.

Park somewhere safe

If you are driving, make sure you know where you can park. Car parks that are supervised or patrolled by security are the best option, in particular if you have to return to your car late at night. Avoid parking in isolated or unlit locations, and try to arrange to walk back to your car with a friend.

Arranging a car pool with a designated driver is a good, safe option and will save you time and money.

Plan your trip

If you are catching public transport find out when the last train, bus or tram leaves so you are not stranded without a ride. Keep a copy of the timetable so you can arrive at the station close to the departure time. Travel in a group, do not isolate yourself and be aware of safety precautions at the station.

If you are catching a taxi, sit in the back and travel with friends. Make it clear where you want to go and the way you would like to get there. If you think you are not going in the right direction and you do not feel safe, insist on being taken somewhere safe or well-populated and finish the trip.

Stay in control

  • Give yourself enough time to get in and out of where you want to be so you do not have to rush or push through the crowd.
  • Drink plenty of water and make sure you have enough food so you feel alert and well.
  • Always buy your own drink and do not let the drink out of your sight, preventing drink spiking.
  • Only use alcohol in moderation and stay with someone you trust if you start to feel ill or threatened.

Keep your valuables out of reach

Never leave your valuables unattended or unsecured. This includes leaving car keys hidden on the car or your bag concealed somewhere at the event site. Do not make yourself an easy target by leaving valuable items in a parked car.

Look out for lockers, a cloak room or other secure places to leave your bags at an event. If you have to temporarily leave your belongings, group them together and get someone to stand guard.

Stay with your group

Offenders target people who appear vulnerable. It is safer to attend a large event with a group of family or friends. This means you can watch out for each other in large crowds and you will actually be, and appear less vulnerable.

If you are travelling alone to the event, make sure you have a designated time and place to meet up with your group and a way of contacting each other if something goes wrong.

Planning a major event

Anyone managing an event will need to plan and prepare well in advance. There are a number of good resources with detailed information and advice about major event planning. Make sure you are well-equipped and prepared and you will dramatically reduce the risk of crime occurring during your event.

If you are involved with organising a major event, it is likely that you will need to liaise with police, emergency services and local authorities about issues such as licensing, first aid and crowd control. Legal advice on appropriate regulations, licences and permits for the event may also be necessary.

Police involvement

The most effective events have good cooperation between security firms, venue owners, promoters and police. Victoria Police may be involved with many issues relating to major events, such as:

  • Crowd control
  • Protective security
  • Motorcade and motorcycle escorts
  • Services for visiting dignitaries
  • Road closures
  • Perimeter security
  • Monitoring of alcohol, drugs and offensive weapons
  • Traffic management.
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