JOINING FORCES FOR STADIUM SAFETY
Dragons, Newport RFC and Newport County AFC have teamed up for a Counter Terrorism initiative called “Know the Game Plan” - which encourages rugby and football fans to report security concerns to stewards and staff.
Counter Terrorism officials have been working with football clubs (both Premier League and EFL), rugby clubs, tennis clubs and other sports to enhance stadium safety measures which are designed to keep supporters safe whilst watching their favourite sport.
To support the campaign, Dragons duo Hallam Amos and Ashton Hewitt joined Newport County’s Matty Dolan, Fraser Franks and Nick Townsend, plus Newport RFC player Matt O’Brien to release a safety video which reminds supporters of the three Newport teams that “Security is a Team Effort”.
The video asks supporters visiting Rodney Parade to be vigilant and work together to create a safe sporting environment whilst highlighting the following key counter terrorism messages.
Key Counter Terrorism Initiatives
Arrive early, allowing more time for security checks
Minimise what you carry, fewer bag searches will speed up entry to the ground
Be vigilant at all times and if you see anything suspicious, tell a steward right away
In an emergency, listen to the public address instructions and follow them
If told to evacuate, do so immediately, do not wait around to film events on your mobile
Move right away from the stadium as quickly as possible for your safety and to allow clear access for any emergency vehicles
Once you are safe, follow the local police force (@GwentPolice) on twitter for updates
Whilst there has been no specific threat to sports stadiums, the Know the Game Plan project is part of a wider police project to work more closely with different sectors such as retail, hospitality and entertainment.
In August, Bob Eastwood, Security and Operations Adviser for the EFL commented:
“Getting supporters to think about security is just part of the work football has been doing in partnership with the police.
“Over the last 12 months we have held many events all over the country so counter-terrorism officers and stadium security managers can share their knowledge and do all we can to stay a step ahead.
“The safety of all fans is football’s number one priority and we all have a role to play in doing everything we can to keep each other safe – police, officials and supporters.”
Rodney Parade Safety Officer, Ian Wilkinson added: “Here at Rodney Parade, we have an excellent working relationship with the Police and Local Authority. This has enabled us to be one of the first stadiums in the UK to complete the security assessments and implement the recommended changes.
“We will continue to work towards creating a safe environment for supporters to watch sport in Newport and hope this video will highlight how the supporters can play their part in keeping everyone Safe.”