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Volume 1: Security for the Arena
Volume 1: Security for the Arena (large format)

Part 1: Missed opportunities

In Part 1, I use the phrase missed opportunity to indicate where I am satisfied that there was an opportunity to act that should have been taken.

The security arrangements for the Manchester Arena (the Arena) should have prevented or minimised the devastating impact of the Attack. They failed to do so. There were a number of opportunities which were missed leading to this failure. SA should have been identified on 22nd May 2017 as a threat by those responsible for the security of the Arena and a disruptive intervention undertaken. Had that occurred, I consider it likely that SA would still have detonated his device, but the loss of life and injury is highly likely to have been less.

At the time of the Attack, the Arena was operated by an organisation which I will refer to as SMG.1 SMG is a large entertainment business. SMG had contracted with Showsec, a company specialising in crowd control, to provide crowd management and event security for the concert on 22nd May 2017. Policing for the Victoria Exchange Complex,2 including the area in which the Attack was carried out, was provided by British Transport Police (BTP). Greater Manchester Police (GMP) provided a Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA) to SMG who had provided advice to SMG in the years leading up to the Attack.

SMG, Showsec and BTP are principally responsible for the missed opportunities. Across these organisations, there were also failings by individuals who played a part in causing the opportunities to be missed.