Christmas Markets are an excellent way to get into the holiday spirit. Decorations, holiday-themed shopping, food, and drink centered around the holiday all lead to fun for families and increased business for local vendors. But wherever people gather, security is required to control crowds and keep people and property safe. Threats can range from pickpockets to terrorists, and you must be ready for them all.
Control the space
Evaluate the venue ahead of time to suss out vulnerabilities. A growing threat is the use of vehicles as weapons, as evidenced by incidents in Toronto and Berlin over the last few years. This can be dealt with by setting up a pedestrian-only space with a perimeter that prevents vehicular incursion as much as possible. Fencing and bollards can be used. Concrete barriers can also be used, but they can be a bit austere. There are more low-key options such as large concrete planters or bollards that can be decorated for the holidays to make their presence more appealing.
Keep your eye out for anomalies such as individuals who are dressed inappropriately, for example, heavy coats in a temperate climate. Look for people walking through the same area repeatedly. They might be indecisive shoppers, but they could also be shoplifters or pickpockets looking for vulnerable targets. Make eye contact as they pass. A smiling greeting will give shoppers comfort while discomfiting those with ill intent. Look for unattended bags, they could be forgotten or simply set down while shopping, but the same thing was thought in Boston before the Marathon Bombing.
Uniformed guards should be stationed at entrances and exits to the area for criminal deterrence and shopper confidence. Patrolling guards can be uniformed, plainclothes, or a combination of both to maintain a visible presence and be ready to respond quickly to threats.
Design an effective security plan
Christmas markets are an incredible, family-friendly experience, but they can also be easy targets. Contact the experts at BOS Security at 404-793-6965 to learn more about the best way to secure these events while also maintaining the joy of the season.