RFID Wristbands Wave Goodbye to Criminal Activity at Festivals

RFID specialist at ID&C, Steve Daly explains how developments in security wristbands will help combat criminal activity at festivals in 2012 and beyond.

Panellist for the anticipated ‘Criminal In-Tent’ seminar at the LIVE UK Summit earlier this month, Daly showcased how RFID wristbands will play a part in the combat against increasing criminal activity witnessed at festivals in 2011.

Sat with Daly were, Kevin Walker, detective constable at Leicestershire Police and Reg Walker, ticket fraud expert from Iridium Consulting. Offering experience and insight, the seasoned pros discussed how festivals have continued see criminal hotspots at campsites, site perimeters and even inside main arenas, where wristband mugging has been an issue.

Criminal gangs, fraudsters and mere chancers will always exist in the industry, but while anti-crime initiatives strive to raise awareness, the panel was in mutual agreement that the strengthening of communication between organisers, access specialists and police will drive the success of crime prevention at festivals going forward.

This year’s riots showed how today’s technology can be used as a tool to negative effect but it was security wristband technology that drew a focus in the latter part of the seminar. ID&C’s Steve Daly noted the success of RFID wristbands used at the Coachella festival in California. In 2010, organisers of the 3 -day gig struggled with touts, fence-hoppers and hundreds of chances. The deployment of RFID wristbands in 2011 however, eliminated all fraudulent activity around the Coachella site and as a result of this, overall criminal activity was reduced.

The unique design and technology behind the wristbands proved too advanced for the fraudsters who, along with the usual chancers, were dismissed way before they had a sniff of the Coachella arena. “The wristbands and access systems ran without a hitch and allowed organisers to dramatically improve on security, while the punters got the added value of reduced queues’’ states Daly.

Daly continues, “The technology was trailed at the Isle of Wight festival this year with RFID wristbands providing a cashless environment for fans in the VIP arena. Although this wasn’t introduced to combat criminal activity – organisers in the UK are now more aware of the benefits RFID can offer festival security.

ID&C will be showcasing their RFID wristbands and security accreditation at the UK Festival Awards Conference on 15th November at the HMV forum.