The Changing Face of Crowd Control


By Kema Rajandran, ASM.

After spending 13 years in the Victorian Police Force and a further five years in the private security industry, Naomi Oakley, Managing Director of U-Nome, says having a female presence and employing communication and negotiation skills, as opposed to brute force, is an advantage in the industry.

A mother of three lovely children, Naomi spent four years after leaving the force in private security at music, sporting and corporate events and a further fourteen months of working and researching within the industry to gain more insight into major security issues.

Naomi then launched U-Nome Security Communication Services, a modern personalised approach to security, safety and protection services provided by a highly skilled, wellpresented, elite team of predominantly female security professionals.

“Our female security personnel approach demonstrates a pro-active, non-conflict, negotiation-style of issue resolution. It’s about planning, preparation and predicting situations before they arise,” she said.

She asserts that people in this industry should have a background in dealing with people, excellent communication skills and be physically and
mentally fit and to be able to react under pressure without having to resort to physical violence.

“Personal experience and industry feedback shows that when you direct female security personnel to deal with difficult situations – generally where men are the instigators of conflict – the end result is a less aggressive outcome.”

Naomi, a self confessed fitness lover, does the 1000 steps twice a week at Ferntree Gully National Park in Victoria, swims a couple times a week and goes bike riding as she finds it therapeutic and not because she is concerned with the need for security personnel to be ‘big and strong’.

Although she agrees that security still remains a predominantly male industry, she says she is having more women expressing interest in employment at U-Nome because of the different image they portray.

“Women that wouldn’t normally work in security love our different approach. Some of my women come from very different areas: flight attendant, retail fashion industry, school teachers, emergency services and most of my staff have teenagers or had teenagers of their own which is a huge advantage!”

Naomi strongly urges more women to get into the industry particularly those that have worked in a bar as they can generally work as a crowd controller.

“I believe that crowd control is an extension of hospitality. During my time in the force I became frustrated at the level of complaints we would get in relation to ‘heavy handed’ bouncers. I observed many bouncers whilst attending at venues and I was amazed that the presence of female crowd control was minimal.”

Naomi has been calling for statewide legislation to help control wild teenage parties. She wants the legislation to guide people planning parties at public venues, including the need for security guards and responsible alcohol service.

Naomi believes having legislation in place would create consistency and take pressure off police resources and has lodged formal submissions to the government.

“I have lodged submissions for National legislation, I am extremely passionate about staff safety and teenage parties and I won’t give up until people listen.”

Naomi has also sent formal applications to all police within every state to retain data on how many parties police are attending over a three month period.

“At this stage no data is captured anywhere, I believe that if the community knew how much police time is spent at teen parties then we may see change!”

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