24 May 2017
More patrols, dog teams and random bag searches to be used at Birmingham’s NEC arena during show
Following the attack at a music concert in Manchester earlier this week in which 22 people were killed and scores more injured, the organisers of the UK Games Expo have confirmed that security will be intensified at next week’s event in Birmingham.
Manchester’s attack was carried out by a suspected lone suicide bomber who detonated his explosives in the foyer of the Manchester Arena as crowds were leaving a performance by Ariana Grande.
UK Games Expo directors Richard Denning and Tony Hyams released a joint statement following the attack issuing their ‘heartfelt condolences’ to those affected by the tragedy, with Hyams adding: “I know that the UKGE community stands with the people of Manchester and the UK in responding to an act of hatred with an increased determination to show tolerance to all those we encounter.”
In response to the attack, Birmingham’s NEC – which was said to have been in a heightened state of security before this week’s events – will increase the number of foot and vehicle patrols occurring, as well as the use of specialist dog teams and random bag searches during entry to the site.
“We understand that this may cause a little bit of a delay when getting in and so we ask you would allow some extra time to allow for this, especially if you have a tournament that has a particular start time,” Denning and Hyams wrote. “Tournaments referees will be informed that they need to allow for delayed arrivals due to security.”
They concluded by reaffirming that the convention will go ahead as planned between June 2nd and 4th.
“Richard and I both feel that it is right to proceed while doing our utmost to keep everyone safe,” Hyams said. “We cannot give in to those who wish to dictate how we should live. Our best response is to continue to live our lives as a tribute to those who have lost theirs. We look forward to seeing you all."
Tabletop Gaming is the official print media partner for the 2017 UK Games Expo