I have been a practising security professional within both the public and private sector since 1989, working in a number and variety of roles. Being the Security Manager for The Lowry gives me a very unique insight into the world of theatre and the performing arts, as I see it from a very different perspective.
Every day presents itself with challenges that need to be managed. Planning with the ability to think fast on my feet is key to ensuring that the security of The Lowry is maintained whilst our patrons enjoy the disparate range of performances and exhibitions that are on offer.
I manage and lead the security function across The Lowry, ensuring the safety and security of everyone working and visiting. I am responsible for the efficient and effective management of all aspects of physical security on a 24 hours x 7 days basis, providing a professional interface with the public, ensuring that the necessary protections are in place for the theatres, corporate event spaces, bars and restaurant and the Galleries, making sure that the organisation is properly and appropriately secured against threat.
A sound understanding of technological security systems and the capability of implementing procedures in respect of alarms, CCTV and reporting systems is essential in this day and age, there is also a requirement to have a sound knowledge of technological advances in order to continually assess and, if required, improve the integrated security systems the function currently operates.
Celebrity security is part of our remit and can be an elaborate affair: as seen recently with Gary Barlow, the planning and organisation can be lengthy and more often than not changes at the last minute. Developing a trusting relationship with a celebrity is difficult and requires a lot of work, having a security team that can think on its feet and pre-empt any itinerary changes is a must have. On the other hand, such events as Britain’s Got Talent provides a different set of challenges in that we have to work with a number of security teams who’s priority only is the VIP.
My team has to ensure that their requirements are met and that they are fully briefed in regards to how The Lowry operates, in order to run a successful event, security and safety is a key consideration.
The audience experience can be as much a part of a good night out as a show itself, the work we do within the theatres with such artists as Al Murray, The Freedom Theatre, Jason Donovan, Pixie Lott and Tom Jones ensure that our patrons are made to feel welcome, are safe and looked after with great customer service adding a shine and making an enjoyable visit to The Lowry an unforgettable one.
In conclusion, my main aim is to help create a pro-active security culture amongst staff, professionals and the public where the responsibility for safety and security is accepted by all, so as to ensure that we can all work in a safe and secure environment so that we can provide the ultimate experience for our many visitors and theatre goers.
Written by Richard Larpent, Security Manager.