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I was under the impression the VAT cut was more for the benefit of businesses than customers - in that they get more profit to help compensate for money lost. Obviously some of it could be passed to the consumer, but I honestly didn't expect many places to pass that saving on.

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You might be right Josh. I thought by lowering the rate Thorpe could offer a reduced ticket price at no extra cost to them and sell more tickets as a result. 

 

From doing some research it looks like a mixed bag, some companies have passed the saving on and others won't be or are yet to decide. 

 

 

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It's true, was at the park today and caught up in the lockdown. The incident took place on the bridge. 

 

Staff handled the situation as well as they could and coasters stayed open. We were allowed out from around 630 and had to leave on the right side of bridge on the raised bit with the rest of the bridge taped off and many police stood adjacent to the tape. Blood marks could be seen on the floor. 

 

Thorpe have since issued a statement on socials. 

 

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Not good at all; certainly not a nice thing for everyone to have to witness the aftermath so publically either. 

 

I'm sure I'm not the only questioning the effectiveness of Thorpe's security this evening, I can't say I've ever thought their searching was particularly stringent but its not for us to speculate on the circumstances.

 

Wishing whoever's been injured a full and speedy recovery.

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I think the way forward is metal detectors. This is implemented in the US parks like Cedar Point or Great America. If there is multiple, and it is set up efficient then the queue won't be as bad. I know a lot of parks in Europe don't have to implement them, but Thorpe Park being near London and having an audience which is what it is. I think metal detectors would be a no brainer for next season.

 

Honestly I would not blame the park, it is rare to see such a thing at any park. So this happening will certainly change how Merlin handle security in the future.

 

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I was very saddened to hear about the incident yesterday.  Truly a horrible event for the victim, staff, and guests.  This shouldn’t happen anywhere; let alone a theme park and I hope that everyone is safe and that the victim recovers.

 

Sadly, I feel that this emphasises the absolute failure Thorpe Park have made in terms of security.  For years, the park has needed a purpose-built entrance with a much higher number of security scanners and more thorough checks.  Even after the tightened security measures introduced around the UK a few years back, they are still relying on waving people through a few (two I think) huts.  On occasions last year and the year before, I wasn’t even asked to step through the security scanner.  This should be compulsory for all guests and there should be the capacity to do this efficiently.

 

Today’s knee-jerk reaction causing a 2+ hour queue to enter the park is not the answer either.  It should not take a stabbing to make a park that handles thousands of guests daily realise that they need proper security measures (which they still don’t have).

 

Whether they like to admit it or not, Thorpe Park is not a safe environment.  Some of the behaviour I have seen from guests in the past, particularly during Fright Nights but also at other times of the year, is disgusting and puts people in danger.  Thorpe Park are aware of this behaviour and yet have still not introduced a properly secure entrance.

 

A park handling crowds on the level of Thorpe Park should be able to search all guests safely and efficiently.  It shouldn’t cause long delays, nor should they have to wave people through due to not having the capacity to search everyone properly.  It is a farce and either Merlin or Thorpe should be held accountable for yesterday’s incident, as they have had years to sort this.

 

In addition to this, I have also read multiple reports that despite requiring guests to pre-book online, they haven’t even been checking tickets of pass-holders.  This means that they potentially could have exceeded the legal limits for safety due to COVID-19?  Plus, they aren’t following guidelines and then an incident occurs at the park which is not good by any means.

 

Ultimately, I feel that Thorpe Park have failed to keep guests safe.  This is not the fault of staff, who have a very tough job and are doing their best, but the management and Merlin Entertainments should be held accountable IMO.

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Unfortunately, Thorpe park just attracts these type of people nowadays, and unfortunately these “yobs” probably would have attacked the other individual knife or no knife (although knife is considerably worse and I’m shocked security is relaxed as it was yesterday- my friends walked into the park without any security checks whatsoever).

 

There’s no doubt that this is down to merlin and Thorpe parks management which has transformed Thorpe park from what was once a quaint family park in the old days now to what they call is an “island like no other”. Well this island like no other relies on no investment, retheming rides to horror themes and making it the local dump for yobs to hang out and smoke. 

 

What happened yesterday was truly tragic and shouldn’t be happening anywhere, especially not in a theme park, but these people getting involved in these attacks are not any different to these attacks happening in gangs around London.

 

The real way to make something like this never happen again is for merlin to put the money into the park that it deserves, transform it back to the family friendly park it once was, take a more upmarket approach and the yobs will stop visiting and stop being aggressive with other visitors (a gang was very violent towards my friends yesterday after they asked them to take a step back and stand on their social distance marker in the queue).

 

Never have I ever been to another theme park with as many chavs, gangs and smokers as there are now at Thorpe park. I would say parc asterix comes second to Thorpe park on attracting the worst clientele, but when I visited parc asterix had the most strict security measures which stops these kind of incidents happening, and there’s also a lot of families at asterix, which there aren’t at Thorpe.

 

At the end of the day Thorpe either need to step up the security levels to airport style security or rebrand the park and bring it back to its former demographic ie. families so these gangs stop visiting the park.

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Odd to hear. I was also on park yesterday and joined a long compulsory queue to get in where bags were thoroughly checked. I believe they do take security seriously and have done more than is usually needed. Only exception was no bags meant you walked down the middle, but even then there was a security member with a table set up doing random searching. Whenever I have been to Chessington or Towers the system was the same with only bags being checked. 

 

I think it always seems busier as more turn up at once in Thorpe. Chessington it seems people's arrival is more spread out and the gates usually open very early, whereas Towers have the monorail usually to space out guests arriving at entrance. 

 

Would you be searched going bowling, to the cinema or shopping? No and the same thing could happen there. 

 

I don't think it's fair to blame thorpe for this personally. 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Coaster said:

I was very saddened to hear about the incident yesterday.  Truly a horrible event for the victim, staff, and guests.  This shouldn’t happen anywhere; let alone a theme park and I hope that everyone is safe and that the victim recovers.

 

Sadly, I feel that this emphasises the absolute failure Thorpe Park have made in terms of security.  For years, the park has needed a purpose-built entrance with a much higher number of security scanners and more thorough checks.  Even after the tightened security measures introduced around the UK a few years back, they are still relying on waving people through a few (two I think) huts.  On occasions last year and the year before, I wasn’t even asked to step through the security scanner.  This should be compulsory for all guests and there should be the capacity to do this efficiently.

 

Today’s knee-jerk reaction causing a 2+ hour queue to enter the park is not the answer either.  It should not take a stabbing to make a park that handles thousands of guests daily realise that they need proper security measures (which they still don’t have).

 

I'm not sure it does show a failure on thorpes part? Thorpe Park's security procedure (the parts which we see anyway) is IMO probably the most stringent out of all the Merlin theme parks already and will no doubt evolve again after this incident. I agree that I haven't had to walk through a scanner at thorpe other than on some special events, but the same can be said for any entertainment venue I've visited in the UK over the past couple of years.

 

The bag search was bought in after a number of terrorist incidents. I agree if they want to search every guest to a higher standard it will take investment in more equipment and infrastructure, and that 2 hour queues to get in are not a long term solution, but to say the park don't have proper security measures is a ridiculous statement.  

 

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Whether they like to admit it or not, Thorpe Park is not a safe environment.  Some of the behaviour I have seen from guests in the past, particularly during Fright Nights but also at other times of the year, is disgusting and puts people in danger.  Thorpe Park are aware of this behaviour and yet have still not introduced a properly secure entrance.

I don't agree Thorpe Park is not a safe environment, "Behaviours" you mention can and do happen in all sorts of places, when you manage thousands of people a day your bound to have trouble at some points, Fright Nights are typically busier and therefore your probably more likely to have someone out to cause trouble. And as far as I know this is the first instance of knife crime at TP - how would a "properly secure entrance" stop someone picking a fight in the park? 

 

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A park handling crowds on the level of Thorpe Park should be able to search all guests safely and efficiently.  It shouldn’t cause long delays, nor should they have to wave people through due to not having the capacity to search everyone properly.  It is a farce and either Merlin or Thorpe should be held accountable for yesterday’s incident, as they have had years to sort this.

Holding Merlin or Thorpe accountable for the knife crime problem in the UK is abit OTT - Thorpe Park's checks were always simply Bag Checks - The park no doubt work with local police forces to plan and execute things such as security / bag searches etc.

 

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In addition to this, I have also read multiple reports that despite requiring guests to pre-book online, they haven’t even been checking tickets of pass-holders.  This means that they potentially could have exceeded the legal limits for safety due to COVID-19?  Plus, they aren’t following guidelines and then an incident occurs at the park which is not good by any means.

To enter the park you need to have a ticket scanned at a turnstile or manually by staff, they of course know how many people are in the park at any given time, as far as i know there are no "legal limits" for Covid 19 - they simply have to ensure social distancing measures are in place which they are, park capacity is significantly reduced from normal.

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The only person who's fault this was was the person carrying the knife. To try to deflect any blame on to Thorpe is plain wrong. 

 

It doesn't matter what measures they put in place, if someone wants to get something in they shouldn't get in they will. The best way to reduce the risk of someone trying is random searches of a differing nature, and that's exactly what Thorpe do. I'm sure there'll be a short term reassurance effort where they cause hours of queues going OTT with searches but it'll be back to normal soon enough, just as it should be.

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1 hour ago, Ivsetti said:

No it's not. It's almost completely the park's fault this occurred on their grounds. I doubt you'd have the same attitude if it was someone you knew that was the victim.

It's like airports saying, "Sorry the plane got blown up, terrorism is so rampant right now but we're doing what we can!"

 

Clearly what the park was doing wasn't/ isn't good enough. 

Thorpe Park has proven yet again from the second you go to their website and hand over your money you're only guaranteed 1 thing - awful guest care and experience.

 

From the victim all the way to the 2 or 3 hour queue for security searches the following day the park is just despicable and unfit to call themselves an "entertainment" venue.

(excluding the fact that once you get into the actual park the average guest only gets on 3-4 rides this season as most queues are 1-2 hours. 2 hours for 30 second rides. The park is still in "reduced numbers" and I hear they'll be increasing numbers EVEN MORE so queues will be even longer!!!!!)

You must be aware of massive terrorist incidents which resulted in massive changes to security operations within the airline industry? 

But I can’t agree it’s completely the parks fault - there was a stabbing in a hospital yesterday, is that the hospitals fault?

 

As pluk said, there’s only so much they can do, You can not expect a guest visiting a theme park or any entertainment venue to go though airport standard security checks. Thankfully incidents like this are extremely rare at these places.

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@Ivsetti did you know there was a stabbing in a hospital in Brighton yesterday? So do you think all this time they were uncaring to their patients/visitors and therefore clearly not doing enough to keep them safe! 

 

I don't know how you can blame Thorpe for this. I thought all aspects of customer service were fab on Saturday! 

 

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Pluk summed up what I think.

The main thing that went wrong here is the person who did indeed bring the knife in the park. I am sure this could of happened at most parks. Thorpe actually have a fairly decent system in place. Some parks in mainland europe you can just walk into without even a search.. It is very easy to sit here in hindsight and list everything that the park has and hasn't done, though before this happened I swear nobody was complaining about security/searching at the park?

 

Nasty things happen everywhere all the time. Theme parks are not exempt from this.

2 hours ago, pluk said:

It doesn't matter what measures they put in place, if someone wants to get something in they shouldn't get in they will. The best way to reduce the risk of someone trying is random searches of a differing nature, and that's exactly what Thorpe do. I'm sure there'll be a short term reassurance effort where they cause hours of queues going OTT with searches but it'll be back to normal soon enough, just as it should be.

^^^ This

 

There is many things Thorpe do wrong, but I find some of this hate thrown at them for this to be a bit uncalled for. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

No it's not. It's almost completely the park's fault this occurred on their grounds. I doubt you'd have the same attitude if it was someone you knew that was the victim.

It's like airports saying, "Sorry the plane got blown up, terrorism is so rampant right now but we're doing what we can!"

 

Clearly what the park was doing wasn't/ isn't good enough. 

Thorpe Park has proven yet again from the second you go to their website and hand over your money you're only guaranteed 1 thing - awful guest care and experience.

 

From the victim all the way to the 2 or 3 hour queue for security searches the following day the park is just despicable and unfit to call themselves an "entertainment" venue.

(excluding the fact that once you get into the actual park the average guest only gets on 3-4 rides this season as most queues are 1-2 hours. 2 hours for 30 second rides. The park is still in "reduced numbers" and I hear they'll be increasing numbers EVEN MORE so queues will be even longer!!!!!)

 

The problem with agendas is thats its very easy to see through them. No it isn't the parks fault that someone got attacked. Your equivalency with a terrorist attack is ridiculous or are you saying it's the airlines fault for 9/11 and the plane hijacking. 

 

That last sentence by the way, all park queue times across the board are up. I never used to queue more then 10 minutes for Nemesis (alton towers for all those that call Inferno the wrong name) and now queues sit at half an hour at minimum. Thats what happens when you social distance and clean the seats and restraints every half an hour. Thats something the park is doing for guest safety so to sit there and say the park doesn't care about care and experience is so wildly of the mark its in Brazil. 

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By technicalities the park is somewhat at fault, as there was a failing in the security somewhere that allowed a guest to have a knife upon their person.

 

False equivalence aside, at least the park reacted to the incident. Perhaps too over the top but given the limited options currently available I'm not sure how I would've tackled that solution in a matter of hours.

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On 7/20/2020 at 10:03 AM, Marc said:

I'm not sure it does show a failure on thorpes part? Thorpe Park's security procedure (the parts which we see anyway) is IMO probably the most stringent out of all the Merlin theme parks already and will no doubt evolve again after this incident. I agree that I haven't had to walk through a scanner at thorpe other than on some special events, but the same can be said for any entertainment venue I've visited in the UK over the past couple of years.

I think that given that Thorpe has a lot of security incidents and seems to have a higher number of poor guest behaviour than other UK parks, it should have higher security levels.  BPB for example have scanners which all guests must walk through.

 

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The bag search was bought in after a number of terrorist incidents. I agree if they want to search every guest to a higher standard it will take investment in more equipment and infrastructure, and that 2 hour queues to get in are not a long term solution, but to say the park don't have proper security measures is a ridiculous statement.  

I don't feel that they do though, because they don't have the capacity to search every guest thoroughly enough to make it safe.  They either have to not search all guests completely or cause 2 hour queues; this has been an issue for years and they have had plenty of closed seasons to address the issue with a new entrance but it hasn't happened.

 

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I don't agree Thorpe Park is not a safe environment, "Behaviours" you mention can and do happen in all sorts of places, when you manage thousands of people a day your bound to have trouble at some points, Fright Nights are typically busier and therefore your probably more likely to have someone out to cause trouble. And as far as I know this is the first instance of knife crime at TP - how would a "properly secure entrance" stop someone picking a fight in the park? 

I have witnessed a much higher number of security incidents at Thorpe Park than any other park in the UK, I've never encountered that sort of behaviour on such a large scale at another UK park.  I feel that increased security presence would be a deterrent to people who would otherwise cause that type of behaviour.

 

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Holding Merlin or Thorpe accountable for the knife crime problem in the UK is abit OTT - Thorpe Park's checks were always simply Bag Checks - The park no doubt work with local police forces to plan and execute things such as security / bag searches etc.

I'm holding them accountable for the fact that somebody was able to get a knife into a supposed secure theme park.  Given the issue with knife crime, plus Thorpe Park's tendency to attract poorly behaved guests, I think that makes it even worse that bag and guest searches haven't been thorough.  I am not entirely blaming Thorpe; obviously the moron who did it is the culprit, however I do think that Merlin/Thorpe should be held accountable for not having stringent enough security.

 

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To enter the park you need to have a ticket scanned at a turnstile or manually by staff, they of course know how many people are in the park at any given time, as far as I know there are no "legal limits" for Covid 19 - they simply have to ensure social distancing measures are in place which they are, park capacity is significantly reduced from normal.

 

It seems strange to me that they were not checking pre-booked tickets which were clearly in place to ensure that social distancing was possible through limiting the number of guests.

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23 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

No it's not. It's almost completely the park's fault this occurred on their grounds. I doubt you'd have the same attitude if it was someone you knew that was the victim.

It's like airports saying, "Sorry the plane got blown up, terrorism is so rampant right now but we're doing what we can!"

 

Clearly what the park was doing wasn't/ isn't good enough. 

 

 

I'd have exactly the same attitude. I wouldn't hold the park at fault regardless of who got hurt, even if it was me let alone family or friends, not unless they gave them the knife or set up the fight. This is one of the major things wrong with the world in my eyes; everything is always someone else fault. Someone should have prevented, someone should have intervened, someone should have seen the future. The suspect is the suspect.

 

You can mitigate against a risk, but you can not eliminate all danger. The security as it is is a reasonable response to the risk presented. With this being the first incident of this type in 40 years, how many issues have they prevented with their actions in this time? Loads I expect. Considering your opinion of their clientele you'd be hard pressed to argue against that having been the case, but you can't prove the effectiveness of a preventative measure.

 

You can learn from incidents, you can see how something happened and amend your processes for the future, but that does not prove an ability to have foreseen.

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1 hour ago, Coaster said:

I think that given that Thorpe has a lot of security incidents and seems to have a higher number of poor guest behaviour than other UK parks, it should have higher security levels.  BPB for example have scanners which all guests must walk through.

 

I don't feel that they do though, because they don't have the capacity to search every guest thoroughly enough to make it safe.  They either have to not search all guests completely or cause 2 hour queues; this has been an issue for years and they have had plenty of closed seasons to address the issue with a new entrance but it hasn't happened.

 

I have witnessed a much higher number of security incidents at Thorpe Park than any other park in the UK, I've never encountered that sort of behaviour on such a large scale at another UK park.  I feel that increased security presence would be a deterrent to people who would otherwise cause that type of behaviour.

 

I'm holding them accountable for the fact that somebody was able to get a knife into a supposed secure theme park.  Given the issue with knife crime, plus Thorpe Park's tendency to attract poorly behaved guests, I think that makes it even worse that bag and guest searches haven't been thorough.  I am not entirely blaming Thorpe; obviously the moron who did it is the culprit, however I do think that Merlin/Thorpe should be held accountable for not having stringent enough security.

 

 

It seems strange to me that they were not checking pre-booked tickets which were clearly in place to ensure that social distancing was possible through limiting the number of guests.

They have never had an incident like this - hindsight is a wonderful thing. 
 

Thorpe have never searched everyone entering the park, they don’t have the facilities too and have felt they don’t need to. Blackpool’s setup is rather different, if I remember rightly Blackpool had huge issues with anti social behaviour which I assume is why their very strict security was implemented?

 

Theres only so much they can do to mitigate risk, compared to other parks in the U.K. I’d say Thorpes security is already fairly strict and will no doubt evolve as required.

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7 minutes ago, Marc said:

They have never had an incident like this - hindsight is a wonderful thing. 
 

Thorpe have never searched everyone entering the park, they don’t have the facilities too and have felt they don’t need to. Blackpool’s setup is rather different, if I remember rightly Blackpool had huge issues with anti social behaviour which I assume is why their very strict security was implemented?

 

Theres only so much they can do to mitigate risk, compared to other parks in the U.K. I’d say Thorpes security is already fairly strict and will no doubt evolve as required.

I mean someone got their jaw broken at ministry of sound a few years back as they were beaten up by a gang....

 

Not saying there was anything park security could have done about that, but these kind of incidents do happen at this park, and that's just down to the audience the park and merlin are trying to attract to the park at the end of the day. Shift the marketing and target market. of the park and make it more of a family park and bring it back to what it once was, and these type of violent incidents would stop happening.

 

I don't know many other theme parks in Europe which have had multiple incidents of violence within 10 years. They need to either a) up the security levels or b) shift the target market back to what it once was under Tussauds ownership; these incidents have only happened since merlin came along and shifted the clientele entirely.

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