It is highly likely that the security arrangements at the Arena in 2017 would have been improved if SMG had instructed an expert in security to conduct a comprehensive review of all the security measures that were in place. Such a review should have involved considering how events were run in practice. It should have included interviewing key security personnel, including employees from Showsec. The scope and operation of the CCTV also needed to be assessed as part of what was taken into account. Following this comprehensive review, the expert could have provided advice as to how SMG could improve its security arrangements.
SMG should have obtained such input before May 2017. It could have been obtained from an external source or from someone employed by SMG for this purpose.
It is likely that the security expert who considered the difficulties presented by the City Room would have advised that the security perimeter needed moving away from the Arena. That is what occurred when SMG instructed experts following the Attack.
While better CCTV and regular and thorough patrols might have prevented, or reduced, the impact of an explosion in the City Room, preventing a terrorist from gaining access to that space was the better option. The only way to provide assurance against an explosion taking place in the City Room before, during or after an event was to extend the security perimeter and carry out searching before entry into the City Room.
I will address the security perimeter, CCTV and patrolling in more detail in Part 6.