Security and crowd control

Security staff can be engaged to carry out a range of duties at an event.

Not all events will require security staff however you may wish to hire staff as part of your event production, or Council may specify that it is a requirement of your event permit.

If you are unsure about security requirements for your event Council’s Cultural Event Officer can provide support and advice by phoning them on 9240 1111.

What you should consider when thinking about security for your event

It is a good idea to think beyond your event to external factors that may compromise the security of your event.

  • Is the location of your event safe at all hours of the day and night? Consider what activity may take place at your event site during set up and pack down.
  • Will your equipment be set up for an extended period of time without many people on site?
  • Is there anything at your event that could be vandalised or damaged?
  • Are you expecting large crowd numbers?
  • Is there any possibility of crowd clashes?
  • Have you monitored the extent of your event's marketing campaign to feel confident in your estimates of crowd numbers?

Information security companies should provide to you

If you have decided your event does require security personnel it is a requirement that any security business have a Private Security Business Licence.

Some security businesses are licensed only to provide security control. Other companies are also licensed to provide crowd control.

The best way to ensure the company is properly licensed to carry out the appropriate duties for your event, like security, crowd control or both, is to request a Copy of the Private Business Security License, before engaging their services.

Note a Security Guard license alone does not allow a person to operate as a Crowd Controller.

What security staff and crowd controllers can do at your event

Crowd controllers at venues and events may be engaged to carry out:

  • controlling entry into venues or events
  • monitoring and communicating on crowd and individual behaviour, including underage drinking or drug use
  • dealing with potentially aggressive, abusive or violent behaviour
  • verbally or physically managing aggressive, abusive or violent behaviour
  • administering and coordinating ‘first response’ first aid or critical care
  • coordinating emergency evacuation of a venue or event
  • induction, security and safety inspection of site (Risk Management Officer), and
  • liaising with emergency services.

Where crowd control officers are present they should also provide:

  • Crowd control/incident register correctly filled in on premises, and
  • Crowd controllers must wear identifying number.

Number of security staff you will need

  • The number of crowd controllers required for an event where alcohol is served has been suggested by Liquor Licensing and the Police.
  • This recommendation may be enforced by the conditions of your liquor license or may form part of your Event Permit.
  • The security company you engage can provide advice on the minimum number of security personel required for the size of your event. They will provide this information in line with relevant legislation.
  • As a guide: 2 crowd controllers are required for the first 100 patrons and 1 crowd controller for every further 100 or part thereof.
  • This is the recommended legal requirement. High-risk events will require extra security, depending on the level of the risk.

Crowd Controllers Public Liability Insurance

Unless Crowd Control is specifically stated in the Certificate of Currency, the security company may not be insured under their Public Liability Insurance cover for ‘Crowd Control’.

The best way to ensure they are covered for Crowd Control is to request a copy of the Certificate.

If you engage a security company you will be required to provide Council with a copy of the security company's Certificate of Currency as part of your permit application.

Further Information

Regulations monitor the industry and should help you find suitably qualified staff to support you event.

Search 'Private Security Act' on the Victorian Legislation website.