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Steward Questions

Much of the 2012 London Olympics security will not be by private security guards let alone police, but by volunteers with only basic training. How to train them?

Chris Flaherty, pictured, and Allison Wylde discuss, in the light of current stewarding. It’s an issue they suggest for sociologists, psychologists and educationalists, besides security people.<br><br>Recent potential terrorist events have been averted by alert individuals, for example, in the attempted car bomb attack on Times Square, in New York in May 2010, and the London Haymarket attempted attack in 2007; electronic surveillance while present had little or no impact in prevention. The UK’s Counter Terrorism Strategy CONTEST, highlights the need for effective ‘ears and eyes’ and is based on the campaign “if you see something, say something”. A key strategy in delivering a safe and secure 2012 London Olympic Games depends on the management of crowds by volunteer and paid stewards.<br><br>The recent attempted terror attack in Times Square, New York, May 2010 involved the suspect’s vehicle, a sport utility with dark tinted windows, entering Times Square at 6.28pm on a Saturday; this was recorded by surveillance videos. Minutes later, two street vendors, a T-shirt seller, Lance Orton and handbag seller Duane Jackson noticed smoke emerging from vents near the back seat of the unoccupied vehicle, which was parked with its engine running and its hazard lights on. They also heard firecrackers going off inside; they alerted the police. What strategies or techniques could be used in the training of stewards to overcome perception barriers to achieve a higher degree of situational awareness than we currently have, allowing us to conduct stewarding operations with more effect and economy? Against this background, the Home Office has trained through Project ARGUS several thousand professionals. Thousands more in the UK have attained a variety of stewarding qualifications; however we do not really know, why or how this training is effective, in making people more perceptive to their environment?<br><br>Specifically, how do individuals’ judge other individuals and how do they judge their environment, these are subjective problems. For example, critically reviewing the events of Tiger Tiger nightclub attempted bombing in London in 2007 gives some clues. The action was averted by the intervention of ambulance staff attending and the club’s door manager. All of these individuals had attended the special training of Project ARGUS. These individuals noticed the car with the explosive device and raised the alarm.<br><br>Preliminary findings from the Pride studies concentrate on the communication issues between the steward leaders and the stewards; key findings indicate the value of maintaining visual sight between individual steward team members, to improve the capacity of cope with emergencies. However, the study also reveals the ‘gap’ in training materials or briefing instructions which focus on helping improve an individual steward’s capacity to better observe their environment.<br><br>UK stewarding <br>In the UK, stewarding has a spectrum of training extremes. Football stewards have to attain some of these Football Licensing Authority (FLA) qualifications: a ‘Certificate in Event and Matchday Stewarding’ (awarded by 1st4Sport); a Level 2 NVQ in ‘Spectator Safety’ (awarded by City & Guilds); and the ‘Certificate for Event Stewards’ (awarded by NCFE), which has now been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. All three qualifications are level 2 qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework, mapped to the National Occupational Standards. The FLA expects all stewards working at Premier or Football League grounds to be qualified in, or working towards, one of these level 2 qualifications.<br><br>As for community organisations, Pride London delivers the largest annual parade through central London (and will be delivering the World Pride Parade in 2012 as part of the London’s contribution to national and international cultural events to coincide with the London Games). They have developed volunteer stewards. These receive basic training and an information pack. However, a minority of the stewards (having volunteered on the day) may not have training, and are given a ‘crash course’ on the morning of the event and placed in teams with an experienced senior steward who manages them.<br><br>Relevance to 2012<br>London 2012 requires 70,000 volunteers: this will consist of professionals and volunteers many will have little or no experience and or training. Thus, there is an identified need for an training package, which meets core criteria for effective stewarding to deliver ‘a safe and secure’ games in 2012.<br><br>American and Australian <br>The US Government’s Department of Homeland Security’s CREATE program has recently awarded funding to develop the “SCRIPTED AGENT BASED MICRO SIMULATION PROJECT” at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (USC); and University of Wollongong (Australia) . This will further the development of a simulation model, in use (named ARMOR) at Los Angeles International Airport. As background, USC has developed the ARMOR system, which is the dynamic scheduling of venue security to counteract hostile recognisance and the interdiction of potential criminal and terrorist activity in public spaces. In the United States, the USC’s ARMOR system is used for determining dynamic scheduling of K9 (dogs) and car checkpoints at the LAX airport (from August 2007). This model has a high relevance to understanding the UK Public Security Model since, as discussed, public security in the UK, depends on stewards, attendants and crowd managers, and the public itself, to be the ears and eyes of security. In fact, very little in a practical sense relies on CCTV. <br><br><br>Dr Chris Flaherty writes: <br><br>Working with London Pride event observing volunteer stewards in action, some of the key lessons learned have been individual stewards were likely to only notice, or be aware of individuals within a limited range, such as across a street, or the people close to them. To maintain effective crowd management, stewards had to keep moving along a barrier line, in order to see and react to a potential hazard, such as crowding or people wanting to breach the barrier along the street. In case of London, one phenomenon impacting on volunteers ability to manage crowd behaviour effectively was individuals in conflict with stewards, security and police over their perceived ‘right’ to have free access across a barricaded street. My current interest is collecting information on public campaigns, which have sought to increase public, and individuals’ situational awareness. Public campaigns, such as London’s recent ‘cyclist awareness’ [among drivers] demonstrate how particular phrases can be used to better cue people, serving as reminders for some action or behaviour. In terms of developing a training package that develops stewarding capacity for better situational awareness, past examples such as these will provide important illustrations.<br><br>Relatively experienced police, security or military personnel (to give a few examples), are people whose predilection, specialised training, technology utilisation and experience enable attainment of a high level of situational awareness. However, it appears (and this needs to be tested in feature research) that among the general population only a limited level of situational awareness is possible. The tools available for this, are public campaigns or short training opportunities to introduce specific cues, which come to underpin basic public security. As well, the Pride London example demonstrates (and this appears clearly the thinking behind the London 2012 Volunteers recruitment programme), is that when raising a volunteer force, from among the general community specific recruitment of people who display a predilection and some experience that will help them better cope with the task of enabling effective crowd security and safety. Recruitment of people who are likely due to employment, education or community involvement to be more situationally aware, and thereby negate the lack of suitable training nevertheless represent a reduced capability. The impact organisationally is that there is an increased need to develop a management structure. For example, in the case of Pride London, it has (since its founding in 2004) devolved a hierarchy of more experienced stewarding roles – senior steward, area manager, or deputy and the chief steward for the parade, whose role is to manage the operation of the basic level route stewards, and deal with the more complex issues.<br><br>About the authors<br><br>Allison Wylde FRGS DIC (Imperial) Senior Lecturer in Business Analysis; is completing her third year as a tenured faculty member of London Metropolitan University Business School. Allison is Coordinator of the Security Industry Observatory, an international project initially funded through the UK Government. Allison’s research focuses on the private security industry; in particular decision making, lock-in and innovation. Allison also works with industry body ASIS developing standards and with CSARN on homeland security issues. <br><br>Chris Flaherty FSyl. previously at the University of New South Wales was a visiting fellow in Safety and Risk. He co-developed a research group in vulnerability and resilience analysis. His current research focus is on 3D Tactics and counter terrorism developing vulnerability analysis for mass gathering in commercial, industrial and shopping areas – mindful of sustainability issues. He also remains very much involved with the university and R&D community in the UK, US and Australia. He’s a Senior Risk Consultant at Greymans Limited, having immigrated to the UK from Australia, in 2008. In April 2010, he was awarded Fellowship of the UK Security Institute. In 2009, Chris joined Pride London as a volunteer steward, and in 2010 was part of the Operations Team as a volunteer deputy chief steward, working on stewarding, safety and security aspects of the parade route, through central London, which involves annually one million participants and spectators each July. Visit:<br>


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