How do cities secure themselves during festivals?

Everyone in cities enjoys it when their cities come to life. This is often what occurs when tournaments, festivities and other celebrations occur. Yet, with this added life comes increased risk to security – since more people are out and about, more likely to leave valuables unattended and more likely to, for example, use their car.

Consider the Telegraph’s Favourite City Worldwide, Cape Town. With a vast number of tourists visiting everyday, it particularly rose to prominence when it hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Well before the World Cup started, the city was already putting in place various measures to help combat various security issues. As Cape Town Magazine notes: “The City’s safety and security resources have been significantly enlarged to the benefit of all Capetonians and visitors to the soccer tournament,” says Councillor JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.”

In response, new security jobs in Cape Town were created and managed.

“More than 440 jobs will be created as part of the City of Cape Town’s safety and security plan. But what they specifically did is our main concern:

“Fire and Rescue Services have received seven new fire engines and is awaiting a new Hazmat vehicle and a hydraulic platform. In addition, 122 fire-fighters have been appointed.

“The Disaster Risk Management team has acquired a new mobile Incident Command Vehicle for on-site emergencies, Smith said, adding that it was large enough to house representatives from all the relevant emergency services.

“According to the plan, City Traffic Services have appointed 35 trained traffic officers and another 70 will be appointed soon. It has also acquired five Golf GTi patrol cars, 10 bicycles, protective clothing and equipment as well as 40 motorcycles.

“Metro Police received 16 new Chev Optra sedans plus horse-box trailers for its equestrian unit, while the Law Enforcement received 19 bicycles, four mini-buses, four Chev Optra sedans, five Segways and a light delivery vehicle.”

The city has also considered other kinds of security responses such as drones, which can be utilized in especially populated events – since they’d be occupying airspace not ground space.

Other places and festivals around the world have themselves come up with solutions, such as Onam Ramzan festival in India – where security officials use bike patrols, instead of either cars or on-foot. This allow officials to not worry about petrol, but still maintain speed and effectiveness.

Security responses will always be dictated to be the festival and city itself – and no matter the response, it remains important to keep that what works in one space might not work in another.