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December 1, 2021

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The 2022 State of Physical Access Control Report

‘65% of people want safer stadiums and arenas’, YouGov survey finds

Two out of every three adults are calling for improved safety measures in stadiums and arenas following recent publicity around the safety of women and girls, a YouGov study has found.

In a recent survey, 5,050 adults in England aged between 18 and 45 were asked whether they agreed with the statement that, ‘recent publicity around the safety of women and girls has made it more important for licensed premises to improve their safety procedures’.

In response, the greatest calls for improvements were in nightclubs (79%), bars and pubs (76%), and stadiums and arenas (65%). Call for safety improvements in other licensed premises included in the survey were hotels and guest houses (64%), sports and social clubs (62%), restaurants (58%) and theatres (52%).

The survey carried out between 16th August – 5th September 2021, and commissioned by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), also found that adults feel significantly less safe across all types of licensed premises included in the survey today than they did prior to the first national lockdown in March 2020.

Across all licensed premises, the calls for improved safety were largest for women – with stadiums and arenas at 71% for women and 60% for men.

The survey also revealed that 26% of respondents would have visited stadiums and arenas more if they felt safer, with 29% being more likely to have visited if it had been granted a Police Safety Award.

Top of the list of safety features that influences the perceived safety of stadiums and arenas upon arrival are ‘door entry control’ with 50% of respondents choosing this option. Next in order are uniformed staff (49%), clearly marked fire exits, and staff controlling rowdy crowds (both at 45%), and the venue being well- lit (44%).

These priorities are broadly the same once inside and moving within the venues. A total of 55% of people chose checking staff are easily identifiable, followed by clearly marked fire exits (52%), door entry control (47%), staff controlling rowdy groups (46%) and checking the venue is well-lit (43%).

In addition, the survey revealed a 7%-point gap between safety checks prior to arriving at stadiums and arenas compared to checks whilst at the establishment – suggesting that large crowds and fire safety risks may have an impact on people’s concerns around safety in these kinds of venues, with people actively checking escape routes.

Licensing SAVI

One of Police CPI’s latest initiatives is Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (Licensing SAVI) which seeks to improve safety and security in licensed premises. Developed at the request of the Home Office, Licensing SAVI is being supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Project Servator, which seeks to deter terrorist attacks in public places.

Licensing SAVI brings together all the information that licensees need to meet the requirements of police and council licensing teams, comply with the Licensing Act 2003, and promote the four Licensing Objectives, Prevention of Public Nuisance, Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Protection of Children from Harm and Public Safety.

Mark Morgan, Business Manager for Licensing SAVI, and a former Police Superintendent, said: “There is a tremendous consistency in these results which show how important safety in licensed premises has become today for men and women – but particularly women.

“In my experience there is some excellent work across the country in terms of safety at stadiums and arenas, with it being really important to ensure staff at all levels are reminded of basic measures they can undertake to enhance safety and, as the survey indicates, provide that reassurance to customers in order to increase their perception of safety.

“Use of Licensing SAVI raises awareness of wider issues from a customers’ perspective and particularly reinforces key issues such as counter terrorism considerations in crowded places.”

Mark explained venue safety and security is especially important now that the UK terrorism threat level has been raised to ‘severe’ following the fatal explosion outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday. The attack is being treated as a terrorist incident.

“Raising the threat level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ is the difference between an attack being’ likely’ to being ‘highly likely’,” explained Mark. The decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) has been driven by two terrorist incidents in the past month, reflecting the diverse, complex, and volatile nature of the terrorist threat in the UK.

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