LYON, France – Violence, disorder, cyberattacks and terrorism at the hands of criminal groups or lone wolf actors are among the security risks associated with major sporting events.
To help address these risks, INTERPOL's Project Stadia and the University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) have been holding a four-day (18-21 June) incident management training course to strengthen law enforcement and first responder standards in sport venue safety and security.
Involving 24 senior participants from 20 countries, the training held at INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters will allow senior police officials and incident management team leaders from around the world to better assess potential security threats and prepare plans for evacuation and other protective actions for major international events.
Developing international standards
This week’s training session is the fifth of six modules of a course established by the University of Southern Mississippi's NCS4 and implemented by INTERPOL’s Project Stadia.
“This course addresses major challenges faced by countries worldwide when hosting international sporting events. Through training, NCS4’s partnership with INTERPOL’s Project Stadia allows senior law enforcement officials from around the world to learn from their counterparts and develop the appropriate methodology and standards for venue security,” said NCS4 Director Lou Marciani.
Upon completion of all six modules participants will receive the International Sport Safety and Security Professional Certificate, as part of efforts to benchmark and advance international standards on major event security.
Project Stadia Senior Manager Falah Al Dosari said: “This training certification has been established to ensure law enforcement acquires the knowledge, skills, and capabilities for managing safety and security at major international events. By involving academia in police training through our collaboration with NCS4, we’re raising the standards and capacity of INTERPOL member countries to address threats.”
The partnership between INTERPOL and NCS4 has seen the two organizations develop capacity building initiatives, in particular in support of INTERPOL’s Project Stadia which is working to implement a comprehensive curriculum to assist member countries meet the demands of hosting major international sporting events.
To capture good practices and lessons learned before, during and after major international sporting events, Project Stadia conducts observation and debriefing programmes with designated security officials from both the public sector and private sector who have direct responsibilities for policing and security operations.
It also organizes dedicated expert group meetings on cybersecurity, sports legislation and event safety & security to explore key themes relating to planning and executing safety and security arrangements for major sporting events.
Established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar, Project Stadia aims to create a centre of excellence and good practice platform to help host countries plan and undertake security and cybersecurity preparations.