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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)

Reliance on the CTSA and BTP

The evidence of the SMG witnesses was that they relied upon the expertise and advice of Ken Upham. This included the fact that he did not suggest his expertise was limited or that they should seek additional assistance elsewhere.297 Mark Harding, Showsec’s managing director, commented that in his experience counter-terrorism expert advice would be expected to come from CTSAs.298

As I have set out in Part 4, while Miriam Stone was entitled to take some comfort from the reassurance given to her by Ken Upham, security at the Arena and in the City Room remained the responsibility of SMG which was aware of the threat which it presented.299 SMG had been told by Ken Upham that it must take responsibility for procedures and decisions.300

Superintendent Edward Wylie was the commander for BTP’s Pennine Sub Division. Superintendent Wylie was involved with policing particular events at the Arena, such as boxing.301 It was not appropriate for SMG to rely on its staffs’ interactions with him, as was suggested. His involvement was based on policing the Victoria Exchange Complex. He did not conduct an audit or comprehensive counter-terrorism assessment of SMG security systems.302

The fact that positive comments were made about training, searching and staffing303 was capable of providing some reassurance to SMG. It was not an adequate substitute for a comprehensive review of the entirety of the security operation at the Arena by an appropriately qualified expert who had been retained for that purpose.