Major Sport Events Safety and Security Framework’s Core Elements

Major Sport Events Safety and Security Framework’s Core Elements

Giovanni Pisapia: ITSTIME – Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues & Managing Emergencies

Sicurezza, Terrorismo e Società 4 (2016) – Abstract

Hosting a major sport event such as the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games or the Commonwealth Games, is a unique challenge and opportunity for any host city due to the sheer scale and complexity of a multiday, multi-sport mega event with a large number of client groups. Athletes, team officials, media, VIPs and spectators all have specific and demanding expectations, with distinctive desires and requirements. In addition, local residents and businesses’ requirements have to be attended too, with the aim of ensuring host cities continue to function properly during the event for all its citizens and visitors. It is clear that each host city, in conjunction with relevant law enforcement agencies, has a daunting task to assess risks, set-up a comprehensive strategy, define an efficient organizational structure, and identify, source and make available resources to support the planning and the delivery of an effective safety and security operation during a major sport events. The aim of this article is to detail the main elements, and their inherently interdependencies, of a sensible safety and security framework for major sport events, which identifies the strategic path to achieve a successful, well-managed and resilient event. The article also provides some insights on the most relevant lessons stemming from the practical experience of planning complex safety and security projects. Clearly, each event is different because of its specific idiosyncrasies related to the local legal system, roles and responsibilities, government set-up and the socio, political and economic characteristics. However, the proposed framework, which would need to be tailor-maid in line with the specific local characteristics, is an effective blueprint for planning major events through a single set of documentations (e.g. risk assessment, strategy, concept of operations) which cuts across different partners and directs the work of many role-players, assisting with the drafting of integrated operational plans. Such set up provides the necessary controls and reassurances locally, nationally and internationally, about the ability to deal effectively with public safety-related risks and to host a successful and peaceful event.