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New Zealand’s strategy for protecting crowded places

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As we know, New Zealanders value the ability to congregate, socialise and connect alongside others. This can involve working in and visiting crowded places, like our hospitality businesses. Unfortunately, the nature of crowded places also means our spaces pose extra risks to people, as they can be a target for attacks.

The Government has prepared a strategy, and a series of guidelines and tools (see the New Zealand Police Crowded Places website), to help you and other members and operators better protect your spaces from potential attacks.

Even the most robust protective security plan may not be enough to stop an attack on a crowded place occurring. However, well-considered and well-tested protective security measures can reduce the likelihood of an attack occurring and lessen its consequences. 

The strategy intends to preserve the public’s use and enjoyment of crowded places, while ensuring that their safety has been considered. It enables a consistent approach to protecting crowded places throughout New Zealand and uses methods that are in proportion to the threat. Making crowded places safe from attack is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi), which reflects the relationship between Māori – tangata whenua – and the Crown, and ensures a principle of working in partnership . The document explains what crowded places are and what risks they pose. It outlines the responsibilities of, central and local government, owners and operators of crowded places, public security providers and the public in relation to keeping crowded places safe.

New Zealand’s strategy to protect crowded places from attack rests on four elements:

• building stronger partnerships

• better sharing of information and guidance

• implementing effective protective security and

• increasing resilience.

Owners and operators are responsible for assessing the risks and vulnerabilities of their crowded places. Understanding the main factors that influence where terrorists target attacks will help owners and operators assess and manage risks.

New Zealand Police has published a series of guidelines and tools on this subject (New Zealand Police Crowded Places website). All of these tools are designed to help owners and operators of crowded places understand how vulnerable their locations may be.

The tools available include self-assessment and protective security assessments. These tools will guide users through a range of questions to provide guidance on next steps required in order to improve the security of their crowded place.

In addition there is advice, resources and posters on what to do in the unlikely event you or your staff or customers are involved in an attack (ESCAPE. HIDE. TELL).

Find out more about measures you can take for protecting your business. Download Protecting Our Crowded Places from Attack: New Zealand’s Strategy.

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