The Protection Available for Events Security Events Security is a challenging job for a number of reasons; dealing with large numbers of people, staying vigilant for potential threats, all while remaining professional and courteous is a very difficult task. This is certainly hard enough without having to worry about you safety. Many may not consider body armour as a viable option for protection, particularly in a job where you are constantly dealing with members of the public. However, body armour is lighter, more discreet, and stronger than ever, and is an excellent piece of equipment for anyone in the Security industry, but especially those working in Events Security.
We are fortunate in the UK to have far fewer instances of firearms and gun crimes than in other countries, yet they are still a threat that Security Personnel have to prepare for. Body armour is an umbrella term for a number of pieces of protective clothing, including bullet proof vests. However, it also covers stab proof and spike proof vests, all of which are separate entities. It is therefore important to be aware of how each can protect you in order to make an informed decision. Bullet proof vests are tested and graded according to standards set by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ Levels). At Levels I-IIIa bullet proof vests will protect you against the large majority of ammunition used in handguns, which is the most appropriate ballistic protection for Events Security.
Of course, firearms are still a rarity, and a more much more likely weapon is a knife or similar edged blade, which are easily accessible and potentially deadly. A bullet proof vest can protect you against bullets, but no other weapons; a knife will cut through the protective fibres used in materials like Kevlar, and a spiked weapon can pass through the minute gaps in the fabric. Therefore, Security Personnel may find a stab or spike proof vest to be more appropriate. These utilise chainmail and laminate in addition to ballistic materials like Kevlar to stop edged and spiked weapons. Stab and spike protection is tested and graded according to the Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST), formerly the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB), which is recognised as being the world leader in stab and spike testing.
Whatever the protection, it is just as important to ensure that it fits correctly and is in the right style. Body armour is available in both covert and overt styles, designed to be worn underneath and over clothing respectively. Overt armour has the advantage of being customisable with high-visibility covering, and even logos and insignia, to make it part of a uniform. However, in a role where discretion and professionalism is so important, it may be preferable to disguise your body armour. In this case, covert armour is the better option, as it can be worn comfortably underneath clothing without sacrificing protection, and allows you a full range of movement. Some covert armour has the advantage of incorporating temperature regulating technologies to help draw moisture away from the skin and keep you cool.
Body armour is lightweight, breathable, flexible, and stronger than ever. It is available in discreet options and even with multiple types of protection in the form of a multi-threat vest. However, this is all for nothing if the vest does not fit correctly. Ill-fitting body armour will be uncomfortable at best, but at worst will have gaps in protection that could prove deadly. It is imperative therefore that you ensure your armour fits you properly. As long as it does, it will protect you against all manner of weapons, and even blunt trauma and brute force, and will allow you to stay secure and confident in your protection. This will allow you to perform a difficult task to the best of your ability, and possibly even make it a little easier.