Safety

The Stadium Control Point

 

The Safety Officer and the Police Commander, between them, will usually have the following items at their disposal in the Police Control Room on match days:

 

(a) An aerial photograph of the ground and its environs. (This helps to pinpoint the exact location of external problems and to determine which resources, police, stewards, or both, are best placed to respond.)

 

(b) A detailed plan of the ground showing individual stands, turnstiles and exit gates.

 

(c) A schedule detailing all turnstiles and indicating what parts of the ground they each access. (If information is received, for example, that known football hooligans have been entering via turnstile No. 7 it is important to know immediately what part of the ground they have occupied.)

 

(d) A schedule detailing all turnstiles in their individual groupings. (If turnstiles 17 to 22, and 37 to 42 inclusive, for example, give access to a particular upper stand it is vital that this is known in the event that you reach capacity in that part of the ground and require to close the area down quickly. Turnstiles 17 to 42 inclusive is not the same as 17 to 22 and 37 to 42 inclusive. Turnstiles 18 to 36 inclusive access an entirely different part of the ground. You must know your turnstile combinations.)

 

(e) A copy of the Ground Standing Orders which address a whole range of issues, including evacuation procedures.

 

(f) A copy of any local bye-laws. (E.g. those prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic liquor in public places, in respect of which stewards or police may seek clarification.)

 

(g) A copy of the SFA Ground Regulations (No. 15 of which, for example, stipulates that - "All persons entering this Ground are admitted subject to the condition that they may be required to submit to search to prevent prohibited articles being brought into the ground which might be used to cause injury or damage to other persons or property.")

 

(h) A copy of the Lord Advocate's Instruction to Chief Constable.

 

(i) A pre-prepared PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCEMENT which indicates that the match has been postponed before kick-off or abandoned during play together with details of the revised match arrangements. (Some clubs are fortunate that each match at their ground is all-ticket and fans can always be re-admitted on production of their ticket stub. Other clubs are less fortunate and may have to deal with demands for cash refunds on the day or implement a voucher refund system. In either event you have to be ready to deal with a postponement or abandonment at extremely short notice.)

 

(j) A pre-prepared PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNONCEMENT in coded text, the content of which will indicate to both police and stewards that the match is to be postponed or abandoned in 5 minutes time. (There is a procedure already in place whereby Police Match Commanders will be so advised by the match referee and the 5 minutes warning is essential to give them and the Safety Officers sufficient time to open exit gates, et cetera, before the crowd becomes aware of the circumstances and begin to disperse.)

 

(k) Contingency plans , which are referred to in the Green Guide which depict suggested courses of action in the event of FIRE; BOMB THREAT; SUSPECT PACKAGE; DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES; POWER CUT OR FAILURE; GAS LEAK OR CHEMICAL INCIDENT; SAFETY EQUIPMENT FAILURE, viz. TURNSTILE COUNTING MECHANISM, CLOSED CIRCUIT TELEVISION, PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM, ELECTRONIC INFORMATION BOARDS, STEWARDS' RADIO SYSTEM or INTERNAL TELEPHONE SYSTEMS; SURGING OR CRUSHING; PITCH INCURSION; LATE ARRIVALS OR DELAYED START; LOCK-OUTS; DISORDER IN THE GROUND or LARGE-SCALE TICKET FORGERY; or EMERGENCY EVACUATION. and

 

(l) Photographs of particular flags together with a brief history of each, items, which at Ibrox and Celtic Park can cause serious offence and provoke disorder.

 

 

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