One of the most common images that comes to mind regarding security at an event or large crowd gathering is a bag check. Bag checks are an essential element of the security plan for many facilities, especially among special event venues with a large spectator gathering. Along with access control and the use of metal detectors they can almost completely eliminate the chance of a weapon or illegal substance being brought into the facility. As always when dealing with other people, especially those who may not be part of their organization, the bag searcher needs to have a focus on customer service.
While overall safety is always the main consideration, every effort should be made to keep the experience of being checked as unobtrusive as possible. Visitors should be made aware of where the search will take place, and what items are not allowed both by signs and on the way and by verbal announcements. When fully informed a customer will not view the search as a negative experience as long as it is felt that entry time is not significantly handicapped because of it. Concessions such as a separate line for entrants with no bag further reduce potential aggravation.
When searching your own employees, additional effort must be made to maintain trust between parties. Privacy policies must be made clear, and employees should know in advance what personal areas such as desks or lockers may be subject to a search. The bag search should take place entirely in view of the owner, after making it clear that permission for the search has been given, with no comments on the personal belongings inside.