Organising a Local Hardest Hit Event
Outlined below is a brief guide to the key responsibilities and tasks
that need to be considered when organising a public event.
Marches and rallies – the basics
You must tell the police a minimum of six days before your event.
Conditions can be imposed if there are concerns about the threat
of public disorder or damage to property, but generally if the police
do not have any problems they will do their best to facilitate your
Checklist: before approaching the police
What route will your march take?
Where will the rally point be, and have you obtained the
permission of the local authority or land owner?
How many people are you expecting?
Have you prepared an event briefing so the police know
what it’s about?
Who are your event’s key contacts?
How many volunteers will you have on the day to help with
Will you have a coach drop-off point?
Will there be First Aid provision?
Have you undertaken a risk assessment?
You will need to consult your Local Authority about any march,
rally or demonstration.
If you are planning a large event you will need to show that a risk
assessment, event management plan and public liability insurance
have been organised.
If you want to arrange a march, and need to close roads, you will
have to obtain a Temporary Traffic Order from your local
authority. Different local authorities have different policies and time
scales – you should contact the Highways Department and ask for
You will also need to draw up a Traffic Management Plan, Devon
County Council have produced a useful guide here
The earlier you start planning your event, the better
Nuts and Bolts
1) Event Management Plan
For larger demonstrations or rallies, an Event Management Plan
should be drawn up. Essentially the document is a guide to your
event, showing how it will proceed safely. It could include details
Emergency plans including event cancellation,
unexpectedly high attendance and event hi-jack
First Aid provision
Lost children procedure
Site plans and site management
Key staff and volunteers
Stewarding and security
The advantage of drawing up an Event Management Plan for small
events is that anyone will be able to see in a nutshell what’s
2) Risk assessment
As the organiser, you will need to identify all potential risks, who is
at risk and explain how you will try to prevent or manage them.
The following five-step guide from the HSE provides a useful start:
Identify the hazards – walk around the area where you’re
planning to hold your event and look at what could
reasonably be expected to cause harm. Ask potential
participants what they think.
Decide who might be harmed and how – identify groups of
people and outline what type of injury or harm could occur.
Remember to include risks to passers by.
Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions – what can
be done about the risks you’ve identified? If you cannot get
rid of the risks, what can you do to control them so harm is
Record your findings and share them with other organisers
and participants. Keep it simple, for example ‘tripping over
Review and update if necessary – look again closer to the
date of the event and see if anything has changed, if it has,
update your risk assessment accordingly.
For more information about risk assessments, include templates,
visit the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/
3) First aid
You will need to provide medical cover appropriate to the size and
demographic of your anticipated audience and type of event.
Medical cover can be provided by voluntary organisations, such as
St John Ambulance.
As a rough guide, if you expect up to 500 people to attend you will
require two first aiders and have one first aid post where people
can go if they require help. This should be clearly signposted and
be easily accessible.
Checklist: first aiders must…
Be over 16
Have no other duties or responsibilities
Have protective clothing
Have relevant experience, knowledge and certification
4) Arrangements for disabled people
Your event cannot discriminate against disabled people or in terms
Adjustments can include ensuring that there are sufficient and
appropriate disabled access toilets, or that dropped kerbs are not
blocked, a wheelchair user platform is provided and that trained
stewards are on site to provide advice.
5) Event staff and volunteers
Most marches and rallies rely heavily on volunteer stewards who
should be properly supported by trained staff; they need to be
aware of the event’s crowd management plan and should be easily
contactable throughout the day.
Police have previously advised a ratio of one steward per 100
participants; however a slightly lower ratio can still be acceptable
depending on the nature of the event.
Importantly, stewards can only guide people: only accredited
security staff can stop participants.
Event staff should be issued with the following equipment: hi-vis
marshal tabards, pens, red/white hazard tape, contact details of
key individuals, phones.
6) Public address systems
Local authorities tend to have different approaches to the use of
loudspeakers. You need to establish which local authority team, for
example Noise Team in Environmental Health Department, will
need to be consulted.
Tell us about it
If you are organising an event, let us know so we can share the
information with others.