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The Manchester Arena Inquiry has now concluded. The closure notice from the Inquiry Chairman is available here.

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

Part 5: SMG and expert counter-terrorism input

Key findings

  • SMG needed input from an expert in security beyond that provided by the CTSA, BTP and/or Showsec. That expert should have been retained to undertake a comprehensive review of and provide advice on the entirety of the security arrangements at the Arena. This was obvious, or should have been. SMG should have obtained this expert security input prior to 22nd May 2017.
  • Had SMG done so, it is highly likely that the security arrangements at the Arena would have been improved.
  • Such input would probably have resulted in changes that could have prevented or mitigated the Attack.
  • Those changes may have included extending the security perimeter to prevent a terrorist gaining access to the City Room.SMG was responsible for the safety of those who attended events and others in the City Room. The Security Experts expressed the view that SMG should have had an in-house specialist senior security professional in 2017.284It was argued on SMG’s behalf that it was entitled to rely upon the CTSA, BTP and Showsec for advice about counter-terrorism. Industry practice at the time was also cited as a justification for why SMG did not obtain input from beyond those three sources.285 I will address each of these claims as against the Security Experts’ opinion above. This will involve consideration of both what security advice and support was being provided to SMG and what security was actually needed at the Arena.