Earls Court appoints security team

Earls Court has appointed Showsec International as its first in-house security and stewarding contractor for all seated events.

Showsec won the contract after a five-way pitch. Details of the length of the deal will be finalised at the end of the month. The first events under the agreement are five concerts by Westlife from 28 May to 1 June.

"This is an important appointment and is about the safe management and control of our venue,

said Earls Court & Olympia Group halls director Jon Sellins. "It brings us into line with other seated arenas and fits in with our overall strategy of customer service. Its important to get it right as the stewards at these events are our public face."

Showsec has worked at Earls Court before. It provided the security and stewarding for last year's Madonna and U2 concerts. The company's appointment comes at a time of growing concern over venue security and others are following suit.

Wembley Exhibition and Conference Centre was forced to step up security for a one-day Israel In Our Hearts event last month, following increased tension in the Middle East. The venue liased with police and organiser, the Zionist Federation, to bring in airport-style security for all visitors.

And the Society of British Aerospace Companies, which organises the Farnborough International airshow in Hampshire, has also tightened its security citing the "heightened global threat from terrorism".

New measures include more rigorous checks on contractors' employees, the use of sophisticated detection equipment and a reduction of the number of vehicles entering the site. The Farnborough show takes place from 22-28 July.

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