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Event safety

Guidance for event organisers

Legal responsibility for public safety at events rests with the organisers of the event and the owners of the land upon which it takes place.

The police have no general duty to preserve public safety at any public event except where there are imminent or likely threats to life. This means officers will not be used to police events and organisers need to plan for a safe event which does not rely on a police presence.

Events we need to know about:

  • Fetes, fairs etc.
  • Open air concerts and music festivals
  • Trade shows
  • Sporting events
  • Horse shows, agricultural shows, dog shows car, caravan shows and similar
  • Open air entertainment including theatre, opera and historic re-enactments
  • Firework displays
  • Large scale company parties
  • Processions, marches and carnivals
  • Street parties
  • Religious events

In exceptional circumstances the Safety Advisory Group (see below) may consider an event with unusual hazards or risks held inside a building.

If your event falls under these categories, please fill out the notification form:

Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

If you’re organising a large event you will need to:

  1. seek advice from the relevant authorities or agencies and complete the Event Notification Form
  2. carry out risk assessments and 
  3. identify measures to ensure the safety of those attending the event and those being employed or volunteering to set up and run the event on the day.

The documents required to support the Event Notification Form are dependent on the type of event and may include:

  • Event Management Plan
  • Traffic Management Plan
  • Risk Assessment
  • Fire Risk Assessment
  • Child Safety Policy
  • Event\Site Layout Plans
  • Route map (if not single location, e.g. cycle race)
  • List of Stewards
  • List of Food Traders and No Food Traders
  • Public Liability Insurance Certificate
  • Plan\drawings of temporary structures

It is very important to plan early, especially if you anticipate that there may be issues around licensing, closing a road, insurance, food safety, etc. Some of these issues, in particular road closures and licensing are subject to time constraints.  You will be asked to share event documentation for consideration by the SAG, this will allow them to provide the necessary advice and guidance.

Members of the Safety Advisory Group include:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • District Council (Licensing, Noise Management, Food Safety, Emergency Planning)
  • County Council (Highways)

An example template for an event management plan is available to download here:

For more information email


You may need a license for your event, please see below which licence your event falls under:

Further information

Further advice and guidance on organising an event can be found on the links below: