Unfortunately, sports venues, like other public venues, can become a target for criminals, terrorists, and extremists. Sometimes, sports fans turn to violence, putting other fans, athletes, and sports venue personnel in danger.
Gun detection technology and other AI-powered systems can help safety personnel identify threats before an incident occurs. Stadium security systems have evolved tremendously over the years. Still, personnel must rely not only on technology to keep sports fans safe.
Here are seven sports venue security tips that can help make a difference.
Tip #1: Attendees should be explained in advance what they can and can’t bring
There are good reasons why some items are prohibited during sports events. Of course, everyone knows they cannot bring guns or knives to a soccer or basketball game.
But other prohibited items might not be obvious, so it’s important to educate attendees as soon as they purchase tickets to the event.
When sports fans don’t know what they can or can’t bring, it clogs up checkpoints and can result in different issues.
Tip #2: There should be more than one layer of security in place
It’s important to always have more than one layer of security in place to keep sports venues safe and inviting for everyone.
Safety measures should begin in the parking lot of the venue, with the presence of traffic control personnel. Inside the venue, security cameras, checkpoints, staff, and technologies should monitor attendees to detect threats and potentially criminal behaviour and alert safety personnel.
Finally, emergency responders must be present and ready to act in case an incident happens during a game.
Tip #3: Security cameras must be positioned in strategic locations
Sports venues should be equipped with security cameras, and these cameras must be positioned in strategic locations.
Safety personnel should have access to complete camera coverage of the venue, so they can quickly identify criminals and potential troublemakers.
Security cameras also help identify players, coaches, and VIPs who belong in certain areas of the venue and tell them apart from individuals who don’t belong there and should be apprehended.
Tip #4: Gun detection technology and facial recognition simplify security measures
Bag searches, pat-downs and metal detectors help keep sports fans safe, but they can hurt their experience at the venue.
Gun detection technology can replace these methods, which detects concealed weapons and alerts safety personnel of potential threats without requiring long lines and invasive searches.
Facial recognition can quickly identify known criminals or suspicious individuals, so they can be monitored and possibly apprehended. This technology also helps identify likely suspects after an incident has happened, and it can assist authorities in their investigation of violent events.
Tip #5: Biometric entry gates can help control access to different areas
Facial recognition technology can also be used to control access to different areas of a sports venue. It can ensure that only people who should have access to sensitive areas can access them, effectively keeping suspicious individuals and potential troublemakers out.
On top of making sports venues more secure, biometric entry gates can enhance the experience of sports fans, making it less likely that they will become angry and frustrated and turn to violence.
For example, fans buying tickets for VIP experiences could upload a photo of their face to the venue’s system before the event. The biometric entry gates will then identify them in real time and grant them quicker access to the game.
Tip #6: Emergency response personnel need to work together
Emergency response personnel must make the most of technologies that help keep sports venues safe and work together to identify potential threats, prevent incidents, or respond to them.
They must be able to tell whether a violent incident is part of a larger planned attack and respond appropriately.
Plus, it’s best to keep the command and communications center of emergency response personnel offsite, so they can’t become a target for terrorists trying to disrupt their operations.
Tip #7: Security measures should be maintained throughout the game
Finally, remember that sports venue security measures should be maintained throughout the game, not just before and after an event.
After a game has started, no one should be allowed to enter the sports venue without going through the same security checks as attendees. Keeping the venue safe until the event has ended and the crowd has left is primordial.
There is not much we can do to prevent terrorists from targeting sports venues or to ensure fans don’t lose their temper and turn to violence during a game. But by implementing reliable technology and ensuring safety personnel are trained to respond appropriately, it’s possible to help keep sports venues safe for everyone.