Tag Archives: Barclays Premier League

2015 IRB Rugby Union World Cup represents latest leg on Zaun’s Olympic Stadium relay

The IRB Rugby Union World Cup represents the latest leg in Zaun’s Olympic legacy that just keeps running and running. The Wolverhampton-based high security fencing manufacturer has been appointed to the latest two phases of work at the Olympic Stadium in London as it reopens temporarily for Rugby Union’s most special event.

England kicked off their campaign against Fiji at what it hopes will become ‘Fortress Twickenham’ through to the final on the last day of October.

Balfour Beatty was appointed to transform the former Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a year-round multi-use venue that will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and community legacy in east London. That transformation includes installing the largest roof if its kind in the world, a community track, innovative retractable seating, spectator and hospitality facilities as well as external landscaping.

The initial two phases of work, which included a £150,000 contract for high security fencing to be installed by Zaun Group company Binns Fencing, finished a couple of weeks ago when the Olympic legacy team handed over The Stadium (as it will be known during the IRB Rugby Union World Cup) to the event organisers.

The 54,000-capacity stadium will host five matches, starting with today’s Pool D clash between France and Romania, New Zealand’s second Pool C match which takes place tomorrow, Ireland versus Italy and a fourth pool game between South Africa and the USA on Wednesday 7 October. The venue then stages the third place play-off on Friday 30 October.

It will then open permanently as the new home of Barclays Premier League club West Ham United and a national competition centre for UK Athletics.

Zaun is supplying over 800 metres of security-rated Duo8 SR1 fencing panels at heights varying between 2.4 metres and 3.5 metres, along with 200 metres of 5 metre-high sports fencing, over 200 metres of spectator railings and 13 pedestrian and vehicle gates.

The installation had to be completed within a month by Binns Fencing, which was bought a month ago by Zaun to enable the two to offer design, manufacture, supply and installation services for high security solutions from a single supplier.

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Momentous League and Cup ‘double’ in London for event security specialist Showsec

Showsec has completed its own equivalent of football’s coveted ‘double’ by playing a key role in the celebrations for each of the 2014-2015 Barclays Premier League and FA Cup winners. The crowd management and event security specialist mounted a major operation for the victory parade to mark Arsenal’s record-breaking FA Cup triumph at Wembley Stadium just six days after the company had featured prominently in supporting and safeguarding Chelsea’s Premier League victory party ten miles away in West London.

Thousands of jubilant fans lined the streets of the capital to hail their heroes following a season in which the London rivals shared all of the domestic honours – the Premier League and Capital One Cup going to Chelsea, with Arsenal victorious in the FA Cup and Community Shield.

The victory parades gave Showsec another opportunity to demonstrate its capacity to be right at the forefront of delivering safe and secure large-scale public events in the capital, while also affording the Leicester-based business the chance to work closely with both clubs’ management teams as well as other key stakeholders.

In the case of Chelsea’s celebration, Showsec was engaged once again by Innovision, the production company with whom it has worked to deliver safety and security for a number of high-profile occasions, the most recent of which was the third stage of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart last summer.

For Arsenal’s second successive FA Cup triumph, Showsec worked with the north London club to activate an extensive crowd management and security operation within hours of the famous trophy having been presented at Wembley Stadium.

Showsec provided security for Arsenal's FA Cup victory parade in London

Showsec provided security for Arsenal’s FA Cup victory parade in London

Stepping up to the challenge

The strength of the stewarding team fielded on both occasions proved to be a crucial factor in successful project delivery, leaving regional manager Steve Reynolds (who served as head of security for both victory parades) to highlight the way in which key members of the Showsec brigade stepped up to the challenge.

“This was the second successive year that we’ve had the privilege of being involved in these celebrations for the two major winners of domestic honours in English football,” said Reynolds. .”The fact that both events took place within six days of eachother and also coincided with a busy start to our festival season meant that we really had to rely on the strength of the management infrastructure we’ve been developing through our training programmes.”

On that note, Reynolds added: “It was really satisfying to see members of the team step up to the challenge and provide strong leadership for delivery of these events, even when significant challenges were presented to them. In many ways this really demonstrates the calibre of people we have working for us.”

Team effort on both parades

While Dayo Adelugba (Showsec’s area manager for West London) operated in key roles alongside Reynolds on both occasions, operations executives Michael Asimonye (dedicated to the Chelsea event) and Harry Thorn (who worked on the Arsenal victory parade) were given the responsibility of acting as project managers. There was also influential support on hand from many other members of the Showsec operation.

“It required an outstanding team effort for both parades, from all the prior planning and preparation right through to end delivery by every company member on the ground,” explained Adelugba. “The Chelsea parade gave us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Innovision, whom we have worked with on a number of major projects in London, while we once again operated in partnership with Arsenal and their stewarding team for their celebrations.”

Adelugba added: “Both operations also involved close liaison with a number of other agencies in developing a strategy for crowd management, road closures and the creation of an environment which made these events an enjoyable experience for the fans while also being sensitive to members of the local community.”

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Showsec’s football stewarding operation expands with Stoke City deal

Stoke City has become the latest top flight football club to engage the security and crowd management expertise offered by Showsec for Barclays Premier League fixtures at the Britannia Stadium during the 2013-2014 campaign.

Showsec’s progressive stewarding and stadium security regime is geared towards enhancing the matchday experience for football fans, with Stoke City now joining a growing number of clubs nationwide at different levels in the game who make good use of the company’s expertise.

Showsec’s services are also employed by fellow Premier League clubs Manchester City and Sunderland – Stoke’s opponents at the Britannia Stadium only recently – while their presence extends throughout other leagues to clubs including Championship high-fliers Leeds United.

The Britannia Stadium: home of Stoke City FC. Credit: Phil Greig/Stoke City FC (www.greigphotography.com - ©Stoke City Football Club 2013)

The Britannia Stadium: home of Stoke City FC. Credit: Phil Greig/Stoke City FC (www.greigphotography.com – ©Stoke City Football Club 2013)

“Football is a crucial element of the company’s growth, so the opportunity to expand upon the work which we are already doing in this field and operate at another Premier League club is an important development for us moving forwards,” commented Showsec’s managing director Mark Harding.

“The Britannia Stadium is renowned for having one of the best atmospheres in English football, and our matchday operation will set out to ensure that remains so for all supporters who are visiting the ground this season.”

Harding concluded: “Our commitment is towards providing the right support to football clubs such that they’re able to offer a safe and enjoyable experience for the fans.”

Switched on to crowd management

Stoke City’s Health and Safety manager Rob Killingworth drew on previous experience of working with Showsec when he turned to them for crowd management support for the Boothen End of the ground this season.

“I was impressed with what I saw of Showsec’s operation during my time at Nottingham Forest and Notts County, so I knew the company could offer what we were looking for in terms of experience and expertise,” explained Killingworth.

“Showsec has excellent supervisors who are very switched on to our needs in terms of crowd management. The other thing they’re particularly good at is communication, which is so very important from an operational perspective.”

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BTP pledges to safeguard travelling football fans during 2013-2014 season

As the new Premier League and Football League seasons begin, the British Transport Police (BTP) and train operating companies have pledged to step up their efforts focused on ensuring fans and other passengers have trouble-free journeys on match days.

Police are urging rail staff to report all incidents of anti-social behaviour in order to ensure a better focused and co-ordinated police response with officers in the right place at the right time to deal with such incidents.

The British Transport Police (BTP) believes a significant amount of football-related anti-social behaviour passes by unreported, maybe because rail staff think it is ‘just part of the job’.

“The majority of travelling fans cause us no problems, and we want to encourage them to use the railway as a safe and convenient means of travel,” said the BTP’s assistant chief constable Steve Thomas, who’s also a former lead on football policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers.

“However, there’s still that disruptive minority who cause problems for fellow fans and other rail passengers. We need rail staff to report all instances of anti-social behaviour so that we have the full picture and can respond immediately where necessary. We also use that information to decide how we deploy resources for future games.”

The British Transport Police and train companies have pledged to step up their efforts in ensuring fans and other passengers have trouble-free journeys on match days

The British Transport Police and train companies have pledged to step up their efforts in ensuring fans and other passengers have trouble-free journeys on match days

Thomas continued: “We can’t have police on every train, but with good intelligence from front line rail staff and the public, we can become better at having the right numbers in the right place at the right time to prevent any trouble. Abusive and drunken behaviour, travelling without tickets or violent behaviour are not acceptable at any time, and travelling to or from a match is no excuse. Rail staff and passengers shouldn’t have to put up with this. I think the public are less and less tolerant of this sort of behaviour, with recent posts on YouTube having rightly horrified people.”

The BTP officer went on to state: “This season, we’re making renewed efforts working with the rail industry to identify the small number of violent, drunken, disorderly or racist individuals who give clubs and football in general a bad name. If they are very drunk, they will find themselves refused travel. If they’re disorderly, they will be removed from trains. If they are violent or racist they will be arrested and we will seek banning orders against them. We will use CCTV, uniform and plain clothes officers to identify those responsible and then take action against them. Passengers can also ‘discreetly’ report crime and disorderly behaviour using BTP’s 61016 text number.”

Travelling without risk to safety and security

Andy Odell, the police and security liaison advisor for the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “Train companies welcome law abiding football fans onto the network and will do all they can to ensure supporters enjoy a safe journey this football season. All rail passengers deserve to travel in comfort and without risk to their security, and we are working with the police, the football authorities and individual clubs to ensure that happens. Rail staff too should not be subjected to intimidation, threats or abuse by so-called football fans, which is why the industry is cracking down on such behaviour.”

As well as calling on rail staff to feed back more information, the BTP has stepped up co-ordination with train operators, instituting regular joint football and events planning co-ordination meetings and identifying single points of contact for football-related issues within each company.

The BTP has also contributed to the Association of Chief Police Officers’ review of football disorder, which is being carried out by DCC Andy Holt, ACPO’s lead on football policing.

Rail staff are able report incidents via their company Control Rooms and also have a dedicated direct line into the BTP.

For their part, members of the public can report non-emergency incidents on Freefone number 0800 405040 and may also text the BTP on 61016.

Football-related offences recorded by the BTP

Football-related offences recorded by the BTP rose 38% in 2012-2013 compared to the previous year (up from 590 to 812). Similarly, arrests increased this season by 23% (up from 632 to 780), largely due to dedicated police activity to combat disorder and anti-social behaviour.

Most offences are recorded post-match, the peak hour being between 7.00 pm and 8.00 pm with the peak age for those arrested being 20.

Alcohol is, not surprisingly, an aggravating factor in disorder with over a quarter of incidents flagged as alcohol related (26%).

The BTP continues to pursue Football Banning Orders where possible, and believes they are an effective tool in deterring violence and disorder. 22 banning orders were obtained during the 2012-2013 season – a lower number than in previous years, in part attributable to recent case law challenging whether or not incidents were football related.

The latter point is of particular relevance to the BTP since most incidents occur post-match, outside of the immediate stadium footprint.

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