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

22nd May 2017 (21:10 to 21:33)

BTP officers in the public area of the Victoria Exchange Complex

BTP had deployed officers to police the Ariana Grande concert. They had been expressly briefed to stagger their breaks during the concert and to have concluded them by 21:00. This was a sensible instruction in light of the number of people, including young people, attending the concert who needed to exit the venue safely. This instruction was ignored by the officers who were present in the Victoria Exchange Complex. SA left the City Room at 21:10 and made his way via the station concourse to a tram platform. He waited there for a short period before making his way back to the City Room by the same route. He re-entered the City Room at 21:33.

Because the BTP officers had ignored the instruction they had been given, there were no BTP officers in any of the public areas of the Victoria Exchange Complex during the period of SA’s departure from and return to the City Room between 21:10 to 21:33. Had there been, it is possible that SA may have been seen by one or more BTP officers. This will be dealt with in further detail in Part 7.

It is also possible that a visible policing presence would have deterred SA, but this is no more than possible. I do not regard this as a missed opportunity in the sense that I mean that phrase. SA had been undeterred by the two PCSOs he had walked past earlier.