Sport and concert fans to undergo airport-style scans as part of security beef up.
SPORT and concert fans will undergo airport-style full body scans for bombs or weapons when arriving at major venues as part of a wave of new security measures.
VenuesWest, which is responsible for 13 locations including Perth Arena, nib Stadium and Perth Motorplex, has purchased portable walk-through metal detectors and is upgrading its CCTV network to beef up security and help prevent terrorist attacks at stadiums.
The operator spent $123,000 on portable metal detectors in April and confirmed they had been trialled at nib Stadium.
It would not say how many of the detectors had been bought, what nib Stadium events they had been trialled at, or if they were being considered for Optus Stadium.
After initially tendering for state-of-the-art “pole” metal detectors last September, VenuesWest chief executive David Etherton said those plans had been scrapped in favour of portable versions of the more common “walk-through” devices.
“As a result of further analysis the decision was made to pursue the walk-through metal detector solution,” he said.
“These will be used as determined by the risk assessment carried out prior to each event and used to supplement the well-established wanding program that is implemented as required.”
He said the metal detectors, which ensure a more thorough scan than hand-held wands, could be deployed at any venue, including the VenuesLive-operated Optus Stadium, and would be moved around as needed.
“If the use of our mobile detection units is required as part of that risk-based approach, then that will be considered,” Mr Etherton said.
In the wake of the devastating Manchester Arena bombing in May last year, which killed 22 concert goers, VenuesWest engaged consultant GHD to conduct a comprehensive review of its security infrastructure.
A Freedom of Information request by The Sunday Times to view the draft report was rejected on security grounds.
Mr Etherton is tight-lipped about whether the changes include implementing facial-recognition technology but said there was funding to “further enhance the current CCTV network” at all venues.
“A comprehensive review of the portfolio of venues is currently under way to ascertain how best to harden the physical infrastructure and provide security for the venues as places of public mass gathering, now and into the future,” Mr Etherton said.
“There is no room for complacency and the need to continuously adapt to the security environment and consider appropriate measures to improve security and safety of the public whilst attending sport and entertainment venues is a growing challenge.
“Increased and continued investment in venue infrastructure is essential.”
VenuesWest has employed a safety and security manager to liaise with WA Police and counter-terrorism units “during specific events”.
Control points at the $1.5 billion Optus Stadium were set back from the edge of the venue specifically to accommodate X-ray screening, like at airports, and the installation of those devices remains a consideration.