Recognizing Suspicious Activity at Your Event

picture of a crowd at a stadium

Security is one of the most important aspects of hosting a successful event. After all the hard work you’ve put into planning your event, the last thing you want is for someone to ruin it by causing harm to someone else on the property. Unfortunately, events tend to be the ideal environment for problematic people and issues to arise. Furthermore, the larger the crowd is, the more significant risks you face. Recognizing early warning signs at events can be difficult, but with the proper knowledge, you can learn to effectively identify suspicious activity.

By learning what signs to watch out for, you can better secure your venue and intervene safely if there is a concern. We highly advise working with a professional event security team to secure your venue and keep people and assets safe. If there is ever a cause for concern, you can reach out to your security team. Silbar Security’s officers are highly trained and informed on how to identify suspicious activity. They can handle all the monitoring and crowd control while you focus on running the best event possible.

What Designates Suspicious Activity?

Any behavior that seems out of context can be deemed suspicious. While every unusual behavior might not mean someone has harmful intentions, it can be dangerous to overlook things that seem “off.” In the worst-case scenario, reporting suspicious activity will result in a routine check that requires no further intervention, wasting some time. In the best-case scenario, being proactive can save lives and capital. In addition to the standard event security risks you should look out for, here are other indicators to be aware of.

Unnatural Physical Behavior

Physical behavior that seems out-of-place in your event could range from someone standing in a corner, quietly observing the crowd, to acting particularly loud and boisterous or disruptive. In some cases, people’s goal is to create a diversion. Other times, they may be deliberately attempting to keep a low profile so they can find out more about the venue or people in attendance. You may notice someone paying close attention to others’ bags as they walk by or continuously circling a particular area. Some may stare at or follow a certain person whom they don’t know. They could also behave in a way that seems odd, like taking pictures of themselves, others, or parts of the building. In reality, even a selfie could be a guise to capture something in the background. It’s always best to be alert. Someone could also be loitering around the venue, driving by slowly, sitting in their car, or even watching with binoculars. Any actions that seem out of the ordinary should be deemed suspicious. You can alert your security guards of this individual so that the team can perform further surveillance and risk mitigation.

Unnatural Mental Behavior

Certain behaviors that may signal a threat could be a person whose mental state seems out-of-touch with their reality. They could be laughing inappropriately, exaggerated mannerisms, talking extremely loudly, swearing often, or seeming overly hostile with no explanation. If a person seems agitated or panicky without apparent cause, watching them further and possibly intervening could be the right call. However, it’s best to let a professional security guard handle any confrontation as they are trained to handle these situations and prevent them from escalating beyond control. If violence breaks out and there is no security nearby, contacting law enforcement is the next best step.

Causing Conflict

Another behavior that can be suspicious and a threat in and of itself is starting arguments with others. Some people will be belligerent, defensive, and even aggressive without motivation. They could be inconsolable, meaning that others’ attempts to appease them go ignored. 

In this situation, be particularly mindful of any escalatory physical behavior. The person may start to display physical signs of aggression, such as:

  • Quick Pacing
  • Physical Signs of Agitation
  • Excessive Puffing or Sighing
  • Facial Indicators: Angry Expression, Furrowed Brow
  • Raised Voice or Escalating from Talking to Screaming
  • Clenched Fists or Teeth

In these cases, it is best to approach the situation with de-escalation in mind, only resorting to physical constraining and force when absolutely necessary.

Unusual Interest in Event Details

It is usual for someone to be interested in basic safety information—like where the emergency exits are. But if someone expresses an immense interest in knowing more details about your event, especially the venue, there could be an underlying motive. Someone could, for example, ask for a map of the venue out of nowhere, even though they do not need one. You could point out the exits to them, but they need more specifics and information. They could also ask for a tour or ask you about the event schedule (such as “How long do you think it’ll take to clean this place up after the event ends?”). 

If someone has no reason to be particularly interested in these fine details of your event, it doesn’t make sense for them to ask so many questions or be persistent about getting specific answers. Trust your instinct in these situations, and inform your security team of any concerns. In this case, you can direct the person displaying suspicious behavior to one of your security guards. Often, perpetrators will be much less likely to keep probing for answers when speaking to a uniformed guard.

Secure Your Event with the Best Security Available

Silbar Security is here to help you create the ultimate safety plan for your event. Our guards can perform crowd surveillance throughout the day or evening and closely monitor anyone that displays suspicious activity. They are also here to respond to any concerns you or an attendee might have during the event and can respond swiftly. Furthermore, they can perform security checks at entry points, manage access control, and ensure that only people with the right clearance are present. If there is ever an immediate issue, like a fight breaking out in the crowd, our team can rapidly intervene, de-escalate, and ensure everyone gets to safety.

If you are interested in learning more about our services, schedule a call with us today. We look forward to learning more about you and your security needs.

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