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Sports security experts meet at Interpol HQ

International experts have met in Lyon, France, to discuss anti-terrorism measures and better ways to improve the safety and security of fans at sports events around the world.

From September 12-14, 2017, the NCS4, in collaboration with Interpol Project Stadia, delivered an all-new, 3-day Sports Security Executive Management course at Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France.

Major international sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup tournaments and Olympic Games present policing and security challenges for host countries.

As well as taking place in large, complex and dispersed locations, such events can attract a range of criminal activities from disorder and violence to cyberattacks and even terrorism.

Host countries and event owners are faced with the challenge of providing a smooth-running and successful event while keeping event participants and spectators safe and secure.

In this respect, exchanging best practices and enhancing the capabilities of law enforcement officials in preparing for and responding to large-scale incidents during major national and international sporting events was the focus of the senior management training course at Interpol’s General Secretariat headquarters.

Dr. Lou Marciani, NCS4 director, said:

This course addresses several international priorities and capabilities for countries hosting major international sporting events. Through training The University of Southern Mississippi’s NCS4 works closely with Project Stadia to support the overall Interpol mission to enhance police cooperation and capacity building for international sporting events.

Participants from 27 countries focused in particular on operational, tactical and strategic incident management planning, crowd and evacuation management, and crisis communications, with the Council of Europe, FIFA, and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy attending the training as observers.

Helmut Spahn, FIFA’s director of security, said

It is vital to exchange information, to look for best practices, to bring together international experts to discuss challenges ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. Collaboration in the field of safety and security is especially important.

Established by Interpol and funded by Qatar, Project Stadia aims to create a centre of excellence and good practice platform to help Interpol member countries plan and undertake security and cybersecurity preparations for major sporting events.

Falah Al Dosari, senior manager, Project Stadia, said:

Drawing on its global network of experts, Project Stadia delivers international conferences and training courses which bring together experts in the field of major international event policing and security to share their experiences and learn from their counterparts. Our partnerships with established national or international entities such as NCS4 are important in establishing best practices.

Private entities offer dynamic insight into new technologies and solutions that can be used for the benefit of Interpol member countries and the law enforcement community.

Eight strategic partners have made a commitment to help fund the Sports Security Executive Management course.

The benefits for the strategic partners include access to a global network of key stakeholders in law enforcement and greater visibility of their contribution towards a safer world.

The strategic partners participating in Project Stadia and the Sports Security Executive Management course include:

Axis Communications – the market leader in network video, offers intelligent security solutions that enable a smarter, safer world. Axis is driving the industry by continually launching innovative network products based on an open platform – delivering high value to customers through a global partner network.

Babel Street – a provider of advanced multi-lingual search and analytics software solutions.

CEIA – a world leading manufacturing company specialised in the design, engineering and production of metal detectors and electromagnetic inspection devices.

Dell EMC – a part of Dell Technologies, enables organisations to modernise, automate and transform their data center using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies.

Johnson Controls’ Building Technologies & Solutions – integrates every aspect of a building – whether security systems, energy management, fire suppression or HVACR.

Microsoft – helps first responders improve the safety and security of communities through reliable, compliant, and scalable solutions.

NEC Corporation of America (NEC) – a leading biometrics, IT and communications technology integrator providing solutions that improve the way people work, live and communicate.

OT Morpho –provides multimodal biometric identity and security solutions to a broad array of markets including law enforcement, government services, border control, time and attendance solutions, and commercial security.

Image: Dr. Lou Marciani, Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, addresses attendees of the Sports Security Executive Management course at Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon, France.