Potential Threats Involving Our Sporting Stadiums
A Chapter member has provided some interesting and thought provoking considerations about security at our sporting stadiums.
Internationally there has been growing concern about the security of crowds at places of mass gathering including those who attend sporting events. Such places are seen as a prime opportunity to attract broad media and community attention, probably on a global scale through a lone wolf or coordinated attack.
Although the Australian Government has published guidelines on “The Protection of Places of Mass Gathering from Terrorism” (2011) and “Active Shooter Guidelines For Places of Mass Gathering” (2013) there remains discontent about current approaches to security risk minimisation at sporting events.
Recent attempts to minimise risk at the MCG resulted in complaints by spectators about delays, poor screening practices, inconsistency on controls for potential contraband and the like. This suggests more in-depth planning and careful thought in operational methods to minimise risk.
In Australia there are over 15 major Stadiums that can hold over 20,000 people. At present there appears no consistent approach to risk reduction from a perspective of a terror attack, especially at the points of entry. Strategies need to be developed and refined that include enhanced security processes, better use of physical measures and improved induction and training of staff.
Recently a collaboration was announced that involved the four largest security providers in Australia for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. It will be interesting to see how these commercial providers will progress strategies in the interests of the required security objectives including how access and screening measures will be operationalised.