Earlier this month I was lucky enough to join discussions at the Stadium Managers Association’s annual conference in Phoenix. Jim Previtera of the Tampa Bay Rays moderated a really insightful discussion on stadium security and something he said really hit home: “security is enough, until it’s not enough.”
And he couldn’t be more right. During that week I listened to plenty of discussions on fan security. Perimeter fencing, turnstiles, ticket checks, metal detectors, facial recognition technology, bag searches, sniffer dogs…
But there was a major part of the puzzle missing. I didn’t hear one comment about accrediting the contractors and workforce going through the back doors of stadiums. Who were they? Were they legally allowed to work? Had they undergone background checks? Did they pose any level of criminal or terrorist threat? What were they bringing into the stadium?
Who are the people entering your stadium or venue through the back door?
Media reports last year that drug gangs in Europe were posing as security guards at music festivals to smuggle drugs into venues, and that 400 security guards were banned over alleged accreditation fraud in Australia whereby “false, forged and/or fraudulently obtained documentation” were stark reminders that the Insider Threat is a very real one.
None of these security guards were fit for the job and some were profiteering from illegal activities. Yet they were responsible for access control and crowd safety at some of the largest events in the world.
Knowing who these people are will improve security and operational efficiency.
The proper accreditation of workers, contractors and sub-contractors at major events, venues and stadiums isn’t difficult to do with a little forward planning and an accreditation process and policy. Done properly, and you can be confident you know exactly who they are. You’ll know they are legally allowed to work, have the necessary qualifications and are not suspected criminals or terrorists. And by allocating access zones and producing credentials you’ll be able to control exactly where they are allowed to go.
We’re working with stadiums, sports teams and event organisers right around the world to help them implement a robust accreditation procedure.