Procedure for children who are lost or found (ECHO 7)

The loss of a child should be classed as a priority incident, exceeded only by imminent threat to life. When a child is reported missing the following procedure should apply:

Steward to remain with parent or guardian and record the following information:

  • Name and contact details of person reporting the child missing and their relationship to the child
  • Name of child
  • Age (or date of birth)
  • Physical description (sex, ethnicity, height, appearance, build, hair, clothing)
  • Location last seen
  • Time last seen
  • Any significant information i.e. do they suffer from any illnesses, are they visiting for the day or camping etc.
  1. Steward to communicate above information to event control
  2. Event control to open an incident log
  3. Event control to communicate details of child via radio and mobile phones to all security personnel in all zones/locations. (The name must not be passed by radio and must be communicated discretely). All children including those accompanied by adults will be asked to remain on site until the child is found
  4. A member of staff should escort the person reporting back to event control and remain with them so that they are not distressed and are available to identify possible sightings of the child
  5. Briefed security personnel to be deployed to zone locations in order to get visual containment of the area and monitoring people leaving the area. Staff at all access/egress points are to be notified and supplied with a description of the child. Staff to be briefed to be vigilant of those trying to leave the event and be prepared to challenge if in doubt. Supervisors should make their way to egress points as coordinated by event control.

If child remains missing after 15 minutes

  • Police to be informed and search extended to peripheral/surrounding areas of the event (at the discretion of event control)
  • Search to include pre-identified areas such as play areas, toilets, bushes, fairgrounds. If these prove negative event control must lead an extensive search

When the child is found and reunited with parent/carer

  • Enquiries must be made to establish where the child has been and whether there is any further cause for concern/police intervention
  • When the identity of the found child has been confirmed, event staff to be notified and normal duties resumed
  • Event Control to update and complete the incident log and photo of child and parent/carer to be taken and entered into the incident log

Found children (ECHO 7)

  • Steward to remain with the child at the location they are found for 5 minutes and notify event control immediately (ECHO 7) to request assistance
  • Event control will arrange for a member of staff to pair with the steward so that 1:1 contact with the child is minimised (physical contact with the child should be avoided where possible)
  • Steward to pass details of child to event control:
  1. Name of child
  2. Age (or date of birth)
  3. Physical description (sex, ethnicity, height, appearance, build, hair, clothing)
  4. Location last seen with parent/carer
  5. Check for mobile number on wrist band issued at pay kiosk
  6. Time last seen with parent/carer
  7. Any other significant information i.e. are they visiting for the day or camping
  • Event control to open an incident log
  • After 5 minutes child to be taken to event control
  • Minimum of 2 briefed and suitable staff to remain with the child at all times
  • Adults claiming the child should be asked for ID unless it is clear that the child recognises the adult
  • Prior to discharging the child ensure the parent/carer, security to inform event control. Descriptions of the child should not be circulated in public unless the child is already secure
  • Event control to update and complete the incident log

Vulnerable young people who are not accompanied by a responsible adult

If a vulnerable child or young person has attended the event without a responsible adult and required assistance the Protocol at Annex H of this guidance should be followed.

  • Steward to pass details of vulnerable young person to event control
  • Event control to open an incident log
  • Child to be taken to event control
  • Minimum of 2 briefed and suitable staff to remain with the young person at all times
  • When the vulnerable young person has been safely managed following the Protocol of this guidance, steward or officer to inform event control
  • Event control to update and complete the incident log and photo of child and parent/carer to be taken and entered into incident log

Search plan for lost children

Where appropriate, all events will be demarcated into zones at the event planning stage.
When alerted to a lost/missing child the following procedures will apply:

  1. Announcement via radio "Attention please, attention please: Will staff be aware of a missing child in Zone or Area [specify]
  2. A description of the child will be passed via radio
  3. Briefed staff will then be deployed to prearranged location within the relevant zone(s) as set out in the plan in consultation with relevant event personnel
  4. The last place sighted will be the starting point for security personnel to search
  5. These staff will stand in locations and observe persons coming and going from the area and try to locate the lost/missing child. Persons matching the description of the child must be stopped and spoken to, including children who appear to be with an adult. This is to check that the child belongs to the adult
  6. Simultaneously other security personnel/stewards will conduct a sweep of other Zones to look for the missing person. The Zone supervisor will contact Event Control via radio when the sweep is complete
  7. In addition to the above, if police are present, an officer or other suitable event staff will be tasked to speak to the person reporting the lost child to obtain details. They will do background checks and liaise with Silver Command to assist with further enquiries

The officer above will complete a copy of the Protocol at Annex H of the Safeguarding Children Board's Event Guidance to ensure a written record of the incident is maintained as an audit trail. This record will be passed to the Show Manager who will retain.

Stewards should observe as standard the following basic guidelines to safeguard the interests of all concerned:

  • Never be alone with a child or vulnerable person, always work in pairs
  • Never shout at or restrain a child or vulnerable person
  • Always notify the event control of the situation by the most expedient means
  • Seek assistance from the security at the earliest opportunity

Contact us

Newark and Sherwood District Council
Castle House
Great North Road
Newark
Notts
NG24 1BY

01636 650000

customerservices
@nsdc.info

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