Counter terrorism advice for sports grounds

Following the terrorist incidents in France that took place in 2015, the UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has been reviewing its advice. The SGSA has been working with NaCTSO to ensure sports grounds are kept updated and has developed some advice specifically for sports grounds.

Sports grounds generally have effective security and safety measures in place. However, it is important not to be complacent. This advice complements and supports the NaCTSO guidance, and is aimed at providing specific advice to sports grounds and event organisers to help with any review or planning you might be undertaking.

  1. Review your contingency planning arrangement for dealing with terrorism and other threats and incidents. Consider developing a dynamic lock-down procedure if one is not already in place. We recommend exercising revised contingency plans in order to validate them.
  2. The club or ground security policies, procedures and arrangements should be reviewed. Where there are no procedures or policies it is recommended they are developed and implemented at the earliest opportunity.
  3. Access control and screening (searching) arrangements for pedestrians and vehicles should be reviewed. This may include revising car parking arrangements to increase stand-off distances between cars and the premises as well as ticket checks away from the points of entry to the venue.
  4. All visitors should be identified and signed in according to the agreed policies and procedures.
  5. Consider reviewing or developing your deliveries procedure to ensure they are received and processed in a secure manner. Questions to ask could include, is the delivery from a known supplier and is it expected? Is there anything unusual about the packaging or item?
  6. All external access points and openings to the sports ground should be secured and monitored.
  7. Conduct a search of the sports ground and immediate environment pre-event and post event.
  8. Staff should wear the appropriate club or ground identification at all times they are at work in order to make it easier to identify trespassers. Encourage a “challenge culture”, stop and challenge those without identification and report unusual or suspicious behaviour.
  9. Remind staff of the current threat level and ask them to be alert not alarmed. Re-brief stewards and security personnel on all security procedures, including how to identify suspicious activity and potential hostile reconnaissance on non-event days. Reinforce the message that staff should be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour. Police act on information from the public who report suspicious behaviour. Vigilant behaviour by staff and the public can disrupt attack planning. “If you suspect it, report it” by contacting police directly or via the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321.
  10. Review the staff training programme for all employees to include the contingency planning responses, evacuation and invacuation, searching and first aid. The “Stay Safe” principles (Run Hide Tell) give some simple actions to consider at an incident and the information that armed officers may need in the event of a weapons or firearms attack. Full guidance is contained on the NaCTSO website.
  11. Consider your searching policies. If there is an increased searching regime, communicate the change to spectators and advise them to limit the number and size of bags, as this will slow down the entry of spectators.
  12. Consider monitoring social media and live news feeds in the control room. Spectators may be alerted to events via social media which could impact their behaviour inside the ground.
  13. Review the NaCTSO guidance for crowded places which can be found on the NaCTSO website.

Safety for all Sports – full briefing