Full body and bag searches will be carried out at Scotland’s busiest live events venue as part of a raft of “enhanced” security measures introduced at the venue in the wake of the Manchester terror attack.
The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow – encompassing the SSE Hydro, SEC Armadillo and SEC Centre – is advising visitors to arrive early as it prepares for a busy schedule of events in the coming days, which includes a performance tomorrow night by American rock legends KISS. Comedian Micky Flanagan is also slated to appear tonight with The Ideal Home Show scheduled to take place at the SEC Centre over the weekend as well as the Eat and Drink Show.
The measures were announced after senior officials from Glasgow City Council – which has a 90% stake in the venue – met with police this week to discuss a coordinated citywide venues response to the raising of the UK’s terror alert threshold from severe to ‘critical’. Police Scotland announced it would step up armed patrols at crowded places and transport hubs in response to the devastating attack on Manchester Arena on Monday night, which killed 22 and left 120 injured in the worst terrorist atrocity on UK soil since the 7/7 bombings.
In a statement, the SEC said: ‘The Scottish Event Campus is entering a very busy period with events in The SSE Hydro, The Armadillo and the SEC Centre over the next few days. The safety of the public attending events on our Campus is paramount. We have been liaising with the appropriate authorities including Police Scotland.
“Security measures at the Campus have been enhanced including carrying out bag searches and full body searches. Only small bags (35cm x 40cm) will be permitted into The SSE Hydro and The Armadillo. Larger bags may be checked into the cloakroom in the SEC Centre and will be searched. At certain times, ticket checks will take place at entry points to the Campus with some access routes (such as the walkway to the station) restricted to ticket holders only.
“These arrangements will mean that entry to the venues will take longer and therefore we would strongly encourage visitors to arrive early to allow time for access to the events.”
Similar measures have been put in place at Hampden Park as football fans travel to the Scottish Cup Final tomorrow for the Celtic versus Aberdeen clash and a “full review” is taking place of all major forthcoming events including the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday.
And in Dundee some of the city’s main venues have also stepped up security measures.
A statement issued on behalf of Caird Hall, Whitehall Theatre and Gardyne Theatre said: “Following the recent tragic events of Manchester, the management of the Caird Hall, Whitehall Theatre and Gardyne Theatre want to reassure customers that all shows will be going ahead.
“They advise customers not to bring any large bags, shoppers, backpacks when attending concerts/shows as storage facilities are not available at any of the venues and this may result in admission being delayed or, in the worst case, refused.
“The management are in contact with Police Scotland to ensure the necessary level of security at all venues.”
Heightened security is also expected in Edinburgh tonight as former US President Barack Obama addresses a Hunter Foundation event at the EICC. Elite US Secret Service officers had already been liaising with Police Scotland and the Metropolitan Police on the event before the Manchester attack.
Police Scotland said armed officers will be patrolling at ‘transport hubs’ and ‘crowded places’ after a suicide bomber targeted concert-goers as they left an Ariana Grande pop concert. However, the force was keen to stress that there was no intelligence about any ‘specific threat’ to Scotland, whilst advising the public to report anything suspicious.
It was also was announced almost a thousand army soldiers have been disptached to the UK’s streets over fears a follow-up terrorist attack was “expected imminently”.
See here for a full run-down of responses from Scotland’s major venues.