I am organising an event and want the police to help with marshalling and road closures

Lancashire Constabulary is committed to facilitating the peaceful enjoyment of public events.

In general there is a public perception that the police service is the lead agency for approving all public events, including those which take place on the public highway. In reality the police actually have no authority to either approve or ban such events and in fact, police powers to regulate traffic for planned events are extremely limited.

The need for police attendance and action at public events will be principally based on the need for us to discharge our core responsibilities;

  • Prevention and detection of crime.
  • Preventing or stopping breaches of the peace.
  • Traffic regulation within the legal powers provided by statute, a Road Closure Order (TPCA 1847) or a Traffic Regulation Order (RTRA 1984).
  • Activation of a contingency plan where there is an immediate threat to life and co-ordination of resultant emergency service activities.

Of particular note for event organisers is that the responsibility for public safety at public events does not actually rest with the police service but is actually the responsibility of the event organisers, the owners of the land on which the event takes place, and if the event takes place on a road, the local authority.

Whilst the police service retain discretion to attend and take action at public events in order to discharge our core duties, the primacy for stewarding and marshalling remains with the event organiser.

Private marshalling and stewarding has become a recognised way in which events are supported. This does not preclude any local arrangements between police and the event organisers, however the police service may charge for their officers’ attendance at private and public events and organisers will be advised by the police where this appears appropriate.

In the first instance enquiries with regard to the planning of public events should be directed to the ‘Safety Advisory Group’ (SAG) of your local authority:


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