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Organisers' responsibilities

The organisation of a public event is a considerable responsibility

In addition to attracting moral and social responsibilities, organisers have civil, common and criminal law responsibilities for which they may have to answer to the courts.

Organisers may be liable for the consequences when things go wrong, particularly if there are defects in the planning or control of the event.

This is more likely to happen if other interested parties are not consulted or if their advice or recommendations are ignored.

One of the main responsibilities of the organiser is to have concern for the safety of the public attending the event, as well as those, who may, in any way be affected by it.

This includes avoiding damage to property, fear or alarm to the public, minimising disruption to the local community and road users and ensuring that the human rights of persons are not infringed.

Ensuring public safety at a public event is not the primary role of the police. 

The police are responsible for protecting life and property, preventing and reducing crime and taking action against persons who seek to break the law. There is also a common law obligation in keeping the peace.

The organisers' responsibilities for maintaining public safety are best accomplished if there is no crime or disorder at the event.  Equally, the police role of preventing criminality and disorder can best be accomplished when public safety is assured.

Since these roles are clearly interdependent, it is in the interest of organisers, partner agencies and the police to co-operate in regulating the event.

The police firmly believe that this partnership approach is the most effective way forward for all the parties involved.

Organisers' should approach their respective local Safety Advisory Group (chaired by local authority) in relation to their individual event plans. If difficulty is experienced identifying a single point of contact then organisers can contact: Warwickshire and West Mercia Operations Planning

Effective planning is concerned with prevention through identifying, eliminating and controlling hazards and risks. The amount of time that needs to be set aside for planning will be very much dependent upon the size, type and duration of the event. For large events, experience shows that 6-9 months beforehand is not too early to start.

In all cases, accurate, early predictions of the type and number of participants are needed in order that the arrangements can be scaled accordingly.  Early advice and regular contact thereafter with the emergency services and other authorities will enable the organiser to make informed, appropriate and agreed arrangements in relation to traffic management, medical cover, stewarding arrangements and contingency plans.