Trends and develops key recommendations in sport security

Vienna – Austria, May 21, 2013: Leading figures in sport from around the world identified a number of emerging trends in major event security and developed key recommendations as the 2013 ICSS Security Expert Summit drew to a close over the weekend.

The event, taking place at Bundesministerium für Inneres (BMI) on the 16th – 17th May 2013, saw sport security experts – including organising committees, government bodies, event and stadia owners, football clubs, security practitioners and academics – explore issues and challenges in sport security, safety and integrity.

The summary of key discussions and recommendations resulting from the five working groups provide an overview of current trends and challenges currently facing sport security practitioners. Further information on the recommendations made by the working groups can be found in the ‘Note to editors’.

The Summit also featured a high-level meeting between the ICSS, the Austrian Minister of Interior and State Secretary of Austria during which the importance of developing a coordinated approach to securing major sporting events was discussed.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Summit, Mohammed Hanzab (President, ICSS) said; “Having played host to high-profile major events like UEFA EURO 2008, two Winter Olympic and the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, and just recently the FIS Alpine Ski World Championship 2013, Austria was the perfect location for this Summit and I would like to thank the Austrian Minister of the Interior, the Austrian State Secretary for Integration, and the BMI for their warm hospitality over the past few days.

“As recent events have shown, the challenges facing sporting event organisers are real, diverse and evolving. The 2013 Security Summit featured open and honest discussion, advanced thinking and provided an opportunity for leading international practitioners to develop tangible solutions in sport security. As part of our commitment to sharing knowledge and best practice, we will be combining these results and recommendations in a more detailed report to share with experts around the globe.”

The key recommendations from the 2013 ICSS Security Expert Summit included:

1) Best Practices for Fan Management

This expert group looked at existing challenges and issues relating to securing and managing fans inside and outside stadia and venues. They developed a number of solutions to the trends currently facing security stakeholders, major event organisers and public authorities.

These solutions included:

• Creating a toolkit for police and steward training that can be adapted to different jurisdictions and sports, as well as outlining a set of minimum standards for policing major sporting events

• The inclusion of fan groups and supporter liaison officers in the consultation process between key stakeholders and community groups

• Establishing fan and player driven initiatives that address social and behavioural trends

• Developing technology that reduces manpower and human resources when securing major sporting events

• Greater coordination and sharing of information around the securing of citywide events

• Involving fans in the stadium design process and incorporating modular facilities to achieve a customer-orientated fan experience

2) Security & Safety Considerations for Stadia and Infrastructure Design

This panel explored how to make sport the most positive experience possible for all involved and the importance of integrating security and safety in planning from the first idea through to the event experience.

The group began by identifying potential problems including the late involvement of security and safety experts and building operators, a lack of evaluation and communication and late changes. It then looked at how project risk could be reduced by early security and operator involvement and comprehensive briefing.

The ICSS’s suggested solution – the ICSS Sport Facility Security & Safety Planning Model TM – was analysed. The model involves six clear phases – initiation, design, construction, concept, procurement and operational.

The experts suggested enhancements including a timeline for each phase, flexibility for different venue sizes and evaluation and review steps.

In terms of next steps, the group suggested transferring the model into a safety and security context and highlighting the various levels of involvement of ICSS advisory within each phase. In addition, they suggested adding examples and the ICSS tools and services that could be used in each phase, as well as certification of outcomes by the ICSS.

3) A Model for Security & Safety Planning for Major International Sporting Events

This expert panel examined the ICSS Security, Safety and Integrity (SSI) Model™ and provided a number of recommendations to update the framework to include emerging trends in sport security.

These recommendations included:

• Seeking cooperation with UNICRI to develop a joint framework that can act as a global standard for the security and safety planning of major sporting events, both from a governmental perspective as well as from an organising committee perspective. This would require the participation of all UN member states and the relevant sport federations.

• Removal of all bidding aspects from the model, and adding a phase dedicated to ‘Bidding’ that will emphasise the unique security and safety aspects of this phase

• The addition of some key aspects to address serious challenges for major sporting event security and safety planning, such as the following:

o The ‘Grey Zone’ (the urban domain between the event perimeter and the precinct surrounding it)

o The different delivery approaches and time scales between governments and organising committees

o The staffing challenges faced by organising committees and the impact on the quality of security and safety planning

o The procurement challenges faced by organising committees when addressing their security technology-, security staffing- and cyber security requirements

o How the model can assist in improving accountability for the provision of security and safety for major sporting events

4) Sport and Economic Development

This panel explored ways to help countries establish a sustainable sport sector and the economic value of sport.

It agreed that countries should define their goals and formulate a strategy and implementation plan. The need to identify countries’ natural attributes, strengths and weaknesses and to develop sport on a sustainable basis was highlighted.

The group concluded that sport is a tool for social and economic growth in developing countries and international best practices should be used as a benchmark, whilst being mindful of cross-cultural differences.

It recommended the creation of quantifiable criteria and analysis of the associated risks in order to measure the full impact of sport on economic development. After agreeing on four groups of criteria – economic, social, environmental, governance – the group explored these areas and the associated risks in more detail.

For example, economic criteria included a master national development strategy and entrepreneurship, whilst social and environmental criteria included sustainability, social cohesion and engendering a national sporting culture. When discussing governance the group highlighted the need for strong legislation and enforcement.

Moving forward, the group highlighted the need to create a glossary of terms and case studies of sport driving economic and social development and to identify existing international best practices in governance and compliance.

The group also recommended research initiatives to define and measure the extent of the sport economy and to examine the impact of the globalisation and commercialisation of sport on fan friction, as well as the development of a set of standards that govern the intersection between sport and politics.

5) Defining Critical Requirements for Securing Live Sites during Major Events

This working group explored key issues related to live sites and major events and produced a number of requirements and outcomes for major event organisers to apply.

Some of the recommendations highlighted included:

• Due to the increase of “Remote Public Viewing Areas” (RPVA) at major events, there is a critical need to educate and increase awareness of security at these venues

• Exploring the development and application of social media technology in securing RPVAs

• Introducing security measures similar to the aviation industry and prohibiting the admission of certain items into RPVAs

• The effect that commercialisation has on the securing of RVPAs

• Exploring the issue of fan segregation in RVPAs


About the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS)

The ICSS is an international, not-for-profit institution that aims to help event organisers to stage safer major sporting events. The Centre’s mission is to improve security, safety and integrity in sport by addressing real issues and providing world-leading services, skills, networks and knowledge.

The ICSS team brings together some of the world’s leading sport security and integrity experts and has access to a worldwide network of specialist practitioners, offering expertise in every aspect of sport security and integrity.

The ICSS is based in Doha, Qatar, an emerging centre for global sporting events including the 2006 Asian Games, the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ the 2011 Pan Arab Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. —- By Will Shand

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