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World Of Sport

Among the speakers at the annual International Sports Security Summit in London in January were several from abroad; and others who offered angles on London 2012.

The event opened with former chief constable and New South Wales chief of police – who policed the 2000 Sydney Games – Peter Ryan, now at Hyder Consulting. He was the cover interview last issue.

Four speakers from consultancy Control Risks – Stuart Cadman; Johnny Cooper; Steve Swain; and head of security consulting and crisis management team EMEA Jonny Gray – discussed how to secure new builds.

Control Risks has been advising the CLM delivery partners on the 2012 Games, Briefly, CLM is the consortium made up of CH2M HILL, Laing O’Rourke and Mace. Selected last year by the Olympic Delivery Authority, it will project-manage the delivery of the venues and infrastructure. As Jonny Gray put it afterwards to Professional Security, Control Risks’ hypothesis is that unless a scheme has security designed in, so that security is integrated into a holistic process, looking at the risks, threats and opportunities, probably you are not going to get it right. The risk assessment process can take in everything from pick-pockets to facial recognition of hooligans, to preventing someone carrying a rucksack with a bomb. Given that process, you end up with a range of operational requirements; then you have a security masterplan, which decides how to deal with those requirements. “Our argument is that technology is not always the answer,” Jonny Gray said. “You may try to deal with it [risk] in another manner; you might decide there is such a high risk, you might decide to have a number of counter-measures.” This leads to the engineering side. Stuart Cadman heads the security engineering team at the consultancy; his project designs include many UK public and private sector buildings. And then there is the legacy of a major event,(a much hailed hope for the 2012 Games). Security comes into it here, too: if a stadium hosts an opening with heads of state, the security has to be very high, certainly higher than if the legacy use of that stadium is as the home of a lower-league football team. In that case, there can be permanent security features for the site’s legacy use, and temporary security solutions for the single high-security event. Steve Swain, former head of the International Counter Terrorism Unit at the Metropolitan Police, described the threats facing major events. And Jonny Cooper, leading the team advising the CLM delivery partners, discussed process of assessing risks, and coming up with strategies.

What, Professional Security asked Jonny Gray, of the international mature of major sports events – is it true to say that there’s nothing new under the sun? That is, that whether it’s a cricket world cup in the West Indies (Control Risks have the contract to provide that event’s threat and risk assessment) or a football world cup in Europe or South Africa, the threats and the responses are similar? Jonny Gray replied with the point that planners are working years before the event. There is a difference between the likelihood and impact of a risk – for say South Africa, you may be more likely to suffer crime while travelling to an event, yet the impact is not as great as (say) terrorism. Hence what Jonny Gray termed likelihood impact matrices – a way of plotting the likely threats, and their impacts on the event. You come up with (broadly speaking) red, amber and green results. At the two extremes, a threat that is highly likely and has a high impact needs prioritising, compared with a threat that is low likelihood and low impact.

Day two heard from former Tayside Police chief supt Brian Powrie, who was the security planning director for the G8 summit at Gleneagles in Scotland. Now retired, he works for UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute), travelling the world to advise on event security. And world really means world, from Vienna to Hanoi. Briefly, the UNICRI has set up an IPO programme (International Permanent Observatory, to advise governments. An IPO conference on security at major events was in New York in December. Among the speakers were Brian Powrie, and former Met Police man, David Veness, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security. Other speakers were from the Caribbean, Singapore and Russia, suggesting an international wish to share best practice on securing major events, whether economic summits and conferences or sports.<br><br>To return to day two of the summit: it also had a South African air, thanks to former soldier Andre Pruis, who entertainingly took the audience through the 2010 FIFA World Cup security preparations; and Rory Steyn, the South African former team leader of President Nelson Mandela’s close protection unit. Steyn has since provided security for the South African cricket team, and was speaking at the summit as security consultant to the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007. Even as he was speaking, a mix of labourers, architects and others were straining to meet the March 11 deadline for the Caribbean sporting event. Steyn gave examples – and is a living example – of the international opportunities available to security and other specialist people working in sports events. And the UK can stick out its chest as a security provider. Old Trafford-based security contractor CES won the security training contract for the cricket world cup; Rory Steyn reported that the UK Green Guide (the safety document for UK sporting venues) was adapted by a former Belize general for the public safety guidelines for the world cup. That guide, and the safety officers trained and used during the two-mouth world cup, would be a legacy after the event. <br><br>What came out of Pruis’ and Steyn’s case studies – and indeed Peter Ryan’s interview last issue – is the common challenges to a smooth plan and running of security at a global-scale sports event. Wherever you are, you need a policy on everything from how to eject spectators (and for what?) to protection VIPs and competitors. As for searching incoming spectators, Rory Steyn put his finger on the balance between convenience, cost and security against threats. The stakes are if anything higher in the Caribbean, according to Rory Steyn, where tourism is the national lifeblood. A disaster or an act of terrorism could destroy a Caribbean economy. Rory Steyn admitted that the Windies world cup security organisers had a big debate about ‘mag and bag’; that is, searching spectator bags with magnetometers. The Sydney Olympics (that is, before 9-11) was the first to have such a ‘mag and bag’ policy, Rory Steyn recalled. Since 9-11, every major event has had airport-style scanning, except the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany (apart from key entrances). After the example of Germany, the cricket world cup organisers asked whether the Windies needed a mag and bag check. In the interests of cost savings – because the magnetometers would have had to be imported into the West Indies – the cricket world cup will not have magnetometers, and instead a wand-style detector, a pat-down by security staff and a bag search. Rory Steyn did not hide the sheer hard work of making such a large event happen – the West Indies sounds particularly frustrating, as there are nine local organising committees of the various island nations, with their own currencies, airport customs and so on. Rory Steyn likened it all to herding cats. However he did have a sun tan; and as he summed up: “This has been a massive learning experience, working on this interesting event.”


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