Safety and Security at Sports Grounds

UK based Assignment Examples

May 2016 - Motherwell Football Club

Contracted to advise the club on how to prevent a mass pitch incursion after the final home game of the season and so avoid the threat of serious sanctions. A plan was developed with the club and the police and successfully implemented on the day of the match.

November 2015 - March 2016 - Football Safety Officers' Association Scotland (FSOAS)

Contracted to organise the FSOAS 2016 Seminar on Integrated Safety, Security and Service. The role involved designing the programme, inviting the speakers and facilitating the event.

2014 to 2016 – Celtic Football Club

Appointed to advise the club on safety and security management. The first part of the work dealt with the club’s proposals for the installation of a rail seating system at Celtic Park. Following the German model, such a system was intended to provide a safer environment for fans who wished to stand to watch the game. This work eventually resulted in the club making a successful application to Glasgow City Council for a rail seating system to be installed during the summer of 2016. This was the first time such permission had been granted in the UK and drew considerable national publicity. See for example Steve’s live television interview on Sky Sports News and live interview on Radio 5 Live

The second part of the work involved a full audit of current safety and security management systems, procedures, staffing, documentation and operational performance, together with associated facilities management. The audit resulted in a further phase of work during which the recommended improvements were implemented. The action plan included operational stewarding, a new operations manual, the revision of the safe capacity calculations, safeguarding and a variety of facilities management and ticketing issues.

Going forward into the 2015/16 season, Steve worked with the club on new risk management projects involving business continuity, the stadium structure and the new club manual for operational safety and security at Celtic Park. He also remained involved in the implementation planning of the rail seating system.

At the start of the 2016/17 season, Steve carried out independent observations of the newly installed rail seating section over the opening matches. The rail seating section has been very successful and is attracting worldwide interest.

2014 to 2015 - Confidential Client

Steve was contracted as an expert witness/adviser to lawyers acting for one of the interested parties in the new inquests for the 96 persons who died as a result of the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster. The assignment began with an analysis of the vast archive of disclosed documentation, using the same terms of reference as the Coroner's own experts on stadium engineering and policing. The work then involved preparing 'shadow' reports on the two expert areas and briefing the client's team of solicitors and barristers. The overall inquest on causation began on 31 March 2014 and Steve was on stand-by to give any further expert advice required until the individual inquests began on 11 May 2015.

2014 - Portsmouth Community Football Club

Contracted to carry out a two-stage review of operations at this historic stadium, the unique architecture of which presents significant operational challenges. The first stage involved an independent audit of safety and security management systems, procedures, staffing, documentation and operational performance, together with associated facilities management. The work concluded with detailed advice on revising the capacity calculations for Fratton Park. The second stage examined the retail and hospitality food and beverage operations on match days, giving advice on increasing turnover, profitability, quality and fan satisfaction. Detailed reports with recommendations on both stages were presented to club executives and taken forward into improvement plans in readiness for the new season.

2012 to 2014 - Cardiff City Stadium

Contracted by the Stadium Manager to research and monitor the safety, security and service risks around persistent standing by fans in two areas of the stadium. The work concluded that standing in one stand should be tolerated but managed, whilst standing in another area should be eliminated. The risk assessment was approved by the local Safety Advisory Group, commended by fan groups and serves as a template for other clubs. Ongoing monitoring work during the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons has resulted in the production of further reports giving updates on progress with implementing the risk management controls. See here

2013 - Operations Manual - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Building on the previous assignments, Steve worked with the Stadium Director and Stadium Management Department to research and write the operations manual needed to support the Stadium’s application for ‘new-style’ safety certification. The final product was a very substantial set of documentation which was reviewed and approved by both the local Safety Advisory Group and the certifying authority.

2012 - Safety and Security Management Training - Rangers Football Club, Glasgow

Contracted to design, develop and deliver a training course for 15 newly appointed staff taking the new role of Designated Stand Manager at Ibrox Stadium. The course evaluation was extremely positive that the learning outcomes had been achieved.

2010 to 2012 - Safety and Security Audit and Operations Work - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Contracted by the Stadium Director to undertake a full independent audit on the safety and security management systems, documentation and operational performance at this 74,500 capacity venue. The work was completed during the November 2010 international rugby series and delivered a report with recommendations for improvements, all of which were accepted by the venue management. Subsequently contracted to provide ongoing ‘mystery spectator’ services to critique operational performance at a sample of international football and rugby events, including the London 2012 Olympic Football Tournament.

2011 - Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Contracted to provide safety and security consultancy in connection with the club’s redevelopment of their Molineux stadium. The work involves advising on crowd management options for the new North Stand, risk assessments and assistance in drafting the operations manual needed to support an application for new-style safety certification.

2011 – ‘Critical Friend’ Review of Match Policing – Hampshire Constabulary

Contracted to undertake independent ‘critical friend’ reviews of the policing operations for high risk Southampton FC and Portsmouth FC fixtures. The role involves critiquing documentation and observing the briefings, deployments and operations at and around the grounds before, during and after the matches. Each match assignment concludes with a report highlighting the positives and pointing out any areas for future improvement.

2010 – ‘Mystery Spectator’ – Stewarding company

Contracted to undertake ‘mystery spectator’ observations on the safety and security operation at a major UK cricket ground.

2010 - Independent Expert Report - West Ham United Football Club

Commissioned by lawyers acting for the club to provide an expert opinion on the charges preferred by the Football Association following the club’s match against Millwall in August 2009. The role involved critiquing the documentary, CCTV and audio evidence prepared by three sides, preparing a detailed expert opinion, meeting with counsel and giving evidence to the Regulatory Commission.

2009 - Safety and Security Audit - Blackburn Rovers Football Club

Commissioned to lead a team of three undertaking a full independent audit of the safety and security arrangements at Ewood Park. The audit comprised two matchday visits, interviews and documentary inspections, reporting against the full IWI checklist. The final report and recommendations were fully accepted by the club.

2009 – Crowd Management – Blackburn Rovers Football Club

Commissioned to give an independent professional opinion on the proposed crowd management arrangements for away fans for the season 2009/10. The opinion comprised a detailed risk assessment together with different recommended segregation arrangements for very high, high, medium and low risk matches. The risk assessment and recommendations were fully accepted by the club, the police and the Safety Advisory Group.

1996 to 2005 – Training Package for Stewarding at Football Grounds – The Football Association, The FA Premier League and The Football League Ltd

Appointed by the UK football authorities to project manage the design, development, production and subsequent revisions of the UK Training Package for Stewarding at Football Grounds. The Training Package is internationally renowned and was adapted for use at the 1998 World Cup in France and the 2004 European Championships in Portugal.

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