The UKCMA aims to raise standards within the industry and promote awareness of crowd safety issues among legislative bodies in the UK, as well as to foster co-ordination of training and operational standards. The lead is being taken by the inaugural members of the UKCMA, which represents the major players in crowd management. The need for recognised industry standards and a responsible approach to training has been a subject of much discussion within the security and crowd management industry. Whereas currently companies can provide personnel not trained in crowd management, whether it be pit work, minimum force, or response work, the recognition and call from the industry for nationally-accredited standards is one that can no longer be ignored.
Recent tragedies at major events from Denmark to Australia have re-focused the crowd management industry on the desire for a leading organisation. The UKCMA aims to set the wheels in motion to raise awareness of the importance of recognised training and operational standards, and in so doing, help prevent such tragedies happening again.
In the late 1970s, the crush-death of an audience member at a David Cassidy concert at White City Stadium in London led to the first Greater London Council code on crowd safety (the forerunner to today’s Pop Code). Since then, standards in the security industry have been driven higher year-on-year by the professionalism of its most experienced practitioners.
"Co-ordinating training standards and a pan-industry approach is now more important than ever," said UKCMA chairman, Mark Grant. "That is our primary aim, and we hope that by coming together as reputable competitors in one association we will create a climate of much greater co-operation for the benefit of our ultimate customers - every single person who attends a public show, be it a music, corporate or sports event." Showsec’s Mick Upton, treasurer of the UKCMA adds: "Forthcoming new standards concerning crowd safety in the UK will have a significant effect on how all of us, as specialists in this industry, work, and it is important that we have a voice in how those standards are set."
The UKCMA is seeking to create links with associated companies, venues, local authorities and organisers to further these aims. It will work with legislative bodies throughout the UK. Membership will be determined by a strict range of professional criteria, including turnover and track record.
This year’s ILMC was the 13th annual conference of the major players on the business side of the live music industry. Held over the weekend of March 9-11 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London, it brought together nearly 600 international delegates. The conference’s keynote session on Saturday was a two-and-a-half hour debate on crowd safety issues, chaired by Roger Barrett of Star Hire and Roberto de Luca of Concerto di Milano.